Brenda’s Blog

Conquer Year-End Chaos with the 4 D’s

December 13, 2023

As the year comes to a close, the workplace frenzy always seems to intensify… looming year-end tasks, navigating through deadlines, project closures, and the heavy holiday social commitment schedule (year-end parties, anyone?). It can all be overwhelming.

Let me introduce a model I use for this type of occasion: a game-changing yet pragmatic system that I share with my Executive Coaching clients.

This works not just during chaotic times, but all throughout the year, for leaders of dynamic organizations and teams. Here are the four D’s (and do note the order – it’s intentional!)

1️⃣ Delete: Look strategically at any new task/project that lands on your plate and ask yourself, honestly: “Is this the right thing for the organization / my team / me to be doing? Will it make a difference in terms of positive, impactful outcomes for the organization as a whole?”

If not, Delete. If so, move on to the next D.

2️⃣ Do: As you think about tackling this new task, pause and identify what it is that only YOU can do. Is taking on this task or project aligned with your function and role? Be honest with yourself… is it true that ONLY YOU can do this new piece of work?

If so, accept the challenge to do it. If not, then consider: Who will do it? That brings us to the next D.

3️⃣ Delegate: Who is the best person to handle this new work? Consider others’ capabilities and growth needs. Delegation isn’t just passing the baton; smart delegation is a thoughtful, strategic handoff.

4️⃣ Delay: From a timing perspective, recognize those tasks which are important but that can be postponed. Does the task need to be done right now? Some tasks can wait but be careful: If something is delayed for 1, 3, 6 months – even if you’re not acting on it – it’s still taking up your share of mind. Challenge yourself: If this task has been delayed (and continues to be delayed), does it truly need to be done?

If so, keep it on the Delay list. If not… it’s time to go back to the start and Delete it!

In a world where time is increasingly precious, the 4D’s can be your compass, especially during the year-end rush. Pause and consider: How do I approach what is on my plate? Delete? Do? Delegate? Delay? The answers to those questions are your strategic guide to making a strong, productive leap into the new year.

Which of the 4 D’s will you use most today?



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