Don’t Micromanage – Make This List to Work With Others

team-386673_640Remember in high school when you’d have to do a group project and get paired up with a bunch of other kids?

I was always the one who was trying organize things and make sure we hit our deadlines.  (Nerd Alert!)

But no matter the project — there was always that one kid who said she would be responsible for a crucial element…and then not deliver.  

Nothing would make me more annoyed, but I was always happy when the project was over and we didn’t have to work together again.

In the “real world” the same thing can happen.  But the downside is you can’t trade in your team members as often.  

You’re forced to work with the same team and figure out a way to make it work.

This is where lists can really come to the rescue.   

Making a list for yourself should be relatively easy, as you know yourself quite well. You should know which tasks will take five minutes and which tasks you’re going to keep procrastinating.

However when you add other people into the mix, it’s not so easy to manage a list for two.  

When different productivity styles come together the results can sometimes be a little off. Here are some ways to help you collaborate better;

Create A Calendar Invite – Creating an invite through Outlook or Gmail makes it easy to remind colleagues of meetings or other to-dos.  You can send them a friendly update for a week before a deadline to gently nudge them into remembering something important is coming up.  

Clearly Define Who Does What – Do you ever walk out of a meeting and you have no idea what happened in it? Meetings can be great for brainstorming, but it takes more than that to get the ball rolling.

During a meeting I’m often making a list of “next steps.”  If I have to send someone a document or more information — it goes right on my list.  

Go one step further and make a note of who is assigned what task and remind everyone at the end of the meeting.  

Using a project management tool like Asana can help you keep your tasks together for everyone to see.  This way you can track progress, keep everyone accountable and keep track of all the correspondence for a single task.  No more lost emails. It also stops people from ‘forgetting’ what they were assigned.

Follow Up – If you’re relying on a coworker to do a particular task, like calling a client, make a note to yourself to follow up on it. I like to use Boomerang for Gmail,  which allows me to schedule reminder emails to coworkers a few days in advance. It can save you a lot of pain down the line and it’ll keep your clients much happier!

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