Technique: give it to a busy person
My friend Greg says that if you really need to get something done, give it to a busy person. Why? Because busy people know how to get things done. People who aren’t busy will take FOREVER.
Busy people get so much done because they
1. like to work
2. like to finish things
and most importantly, they
3. understand the essential principles of their team, group and projects.
Because they understand these essential principles, they also know what makes a priority. That’s why everyone comes to them, and that’s why they’re busy.
Think back – the first thing a busy person asks when assigned a task is: What’s the priority? Next: When do you need it by? They don’t just ask these questions because they’re already pretty booked (although they are). They also ask these questions to make sure that YOU understand the group’s principles and priorities, and that you’re using their time accordingly.
Call me a PM geek, but I love these discussions, because I get to check my understanding of the organization’s principles with one of the group’s top performers.
Note: The amount of work that someone gets done doesn’t always correlate to the amount of effort they put forth. It’s true that busy people get through lots of work by putting forth lots of effort, but the inverse isn’t always true. I’ve known people who work really hard, but end up getting very little done.
More on this when I discuss Rule #19: Appreciate Top Performers.