Do you ever find yourself looking up at the time and saying (maybe shouting) “Where did this day go?!”
It seems like there are just never enough hours in a day, or week for that matter. Time is one of those things that we can’t simply buy more of when we need it. So instead, we have to work to make the most of the time that we do have.
Enter the magic of delegation.
Delegation does not come easily to most. It’s easy to fall into thinking that doing something yourself is the easiest and fastest way, but delegation is a key function in making the most of your limited time. Mindfully thinking through how and when to delegate tasks to others is a worthwhile investment – here are our tips:
-Pick the Right Person
The best part about working with a team is that you have a whole group of people, each with special talents, as a resource. Avoid delegating a task to the first person who walks past you when you are overwhelmed. Evaluate work load, strengths, and areas that team members have identified where they want opportunities to grow. Use this information to delegate tasks to the right team member.
We’ve yet to find someone who can straight up read minds despite a rigorous recruitment effort, so clearly articulating a task with needed details (deadline, background information, process, etc.) is key. Taking time on the front end to be clear will save time clarifying later, and help avoid mistakes. Give the person you are delegating to all of the information they need to complete the task. (And if you can read minds, seriously please call us.)
When someone makes time for a new task, even if it technically falls within their job description or is of the “other duties as assigned” variety, a thank you is needed. Be appreciative of their efforts, and the time you received because they did a task for you.
-As Soon as Possible
Your inability to plan should not become someone else’s emergency – this is a line that often filters through business lingo, and with good reason. Don’t delegate something last minute unless you absolutely have to because it can’t be avoided. Go through your to-do list at the beginning of the week, and identify things that you can delegate with plenty of notice.
-When it’s OK That You Don’t Personally Do the Task
There are some parts of your job that you simply can’t hand off due to expertise and expectations. Challenge yourself to really identify the best use of your time within what you need to accomplish, and do things and do them well. If someone can do something just as well as you, and they have the capacity for more, delegate.