When you delegate or you have to wait for someone else to do something before you can take your next action this time management tip will keep you from having things fall through the cracks. If you’ve found some things you can delegate good for you, but ultimately you’re still responsible. If you have some things someone else has to take action on before you can take your next action, you’re still responsible. But all too often when these hand-offs occur things fall through the cracks and consequently things fall apart, and you have big problems. This happens because you’re counting on someone else to be responsible and you don’t have the same objectives or understanding about the thing being handed-off.

Even when you’re a solopreneur there are things you delegate or hand-off. Consider yourself the quarterback and start the tracking process on your end. Anytime you delegate or hand-off anything record this action in one place that you review at least weekly. If you use as weekly To Do list add the follow-up action on your list. It takes far less time to track your hand-offs than it does to fix the problems that arise when you don’t.

Dates are important because in just a couple days you won’t be certain when you made the hand-off. Record the date of the hand-off, and assign a date for when you expect it back so you can take your next action. Record both dates in your records so there isn’t any guess work. If your handing off a document and retrieving or reproducing that document would be difficult if the receiving part were to lose it, always make a copy of the document and store that copy in your hand-off file folder.

When you make the hand-off never presume the other person has the same understanding of expectations that you do. Clearly communicate your expectations about the action they will take and the time you can expect the hand-off to be returned to you for your action. If the time delay between hand-off and return is longer than a few hours obtain an agreed upon check point where the other person will notify you of any projected delays that will prevent you from getting the hand-off back as expected.

Review your hand-off records at least weekly to make sure everything is on track. Follow-up and follow-through as needed to get the hand-off back so you can proceed and fulfill your responsibilities. Hand-offs can be tricky, but when you take responsibility and track you have far fewer disasters.

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