It can sometimes be all too easy to assume you’re being productive because you’re busy. The same applies as you observe your team: is this familiar: “I can’t delegate to anyone because they’re all so busy.”

A great way to test this assumption about how productive you are versus your busy-ness is to transform three words into three questions or three tests. the three words are:



By looking at your work, or encouraging your team to look at their work, through the lens of necessity, appropriateness or efficiency can lead to:

✓ eliminating old, redundant processes

✓ discontinuing tasks that are no longer required

✓ improvement in processes

✓ saving time, money and resources

✓ skilling through delegation or task swapping

✓ opportunities that boost the bottom line, outcomes or other essential results


First examine each activity to ensure that it is necessary. Just because you enjoy it, or it has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s necessary going forward. The test of necessity will help to reduce your tasks to the essential.



Ask who should perform the activity or task, such as, appropriateness in terms of department, roles, skill level or current direction of the organisation.

You’re probably currently engaged in activities that you could give to others. Often the reason for you doing them is that you:

■ really enjoy them;

■ are not sure who to delegate the tasks to; or

■ don’t know how to delegate tasks

In reality, it is likely that many of these activities are below your skill level and should be delegated to others.

Managers are often guilty of spending far too much time doing rather than delegating and then supporting, coaching or guiding, and so find that time slips by and all of a sudden you’re working longer hours to get your other work done, if not take your management work home with you.



What elements of your job could you manage more efficiently? Travel, email management, meetings, performance conversations, projects and communications are often worthwhile areas for checking efficiency.

If you need some help to facilitate this process, please reach out, I’d love to help.


I’d love to know your thoughts…