Stop Delegating Tasks By Email

When many managers want something done, they send their staff member an email. This is a very BAD idea…

Email Inbox = Bermuda Triangle #

Most email inboxes are like the Bermuda Triangle. Lots of things  go in but we aren’t sure when they are going to come out again. Your high priority task is treated the same in an email inbox as the sharing of funny cat video – and every time there is another question, another email is generated.

At this rate, you’ll never get to Zero Email Inbox.

Email Is Poorly Structured for Tasks #

Email was never designed for assigning tasks. Most email programs have

  • No priority levels
  • No due dates

Subject Line Nightmares #

Many people are sloppy about changing the subject line. They just reply to the last email from you and add more text. This means that your question about the new advertising campaign might be under the subject line for the email you sent out about the last staff Christmas party. This makes trying to find all the conversations and files for a certain task nearly impossible.

Email Doesn’t Report Tasks Well #

Has the task been started? What percentage of it is complete? Email is poorly designed to report tasks.

Assigning Tasks Without Email #

To properly assign and review tasks you should have a dedicated task management system like TeamworkPM. Dedicated task management systems provide these features lacking in email:

  • ability to choose who to assign the task to
  • ability to set priority levels and due dates
  • ability to sort tasks by employee, project, priority, etc
  • ability to search for tasks
  • keeps all the files and documents for the task in one place
  • comments, questions and conversations are all together in one place without creating an email each time
  • you can see the time each task has taken
  • dashboard view of the status of all  tasks

So break the email delegation habit and switch to a tasks dashboard instead. You’ll be glad you did. If you want help choosing a task management system or  want training on how to delegate more effectively, just contact me.

Garland Coulson, “Captain Time”

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