The helpful folks over at www.findmyworkspace.com share how and why it is wise to delegate.
Time is a limited commodity. Everyday, you are given 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds- whether you are the owner of a start-up business, or Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Ma.
What makes the ultimate difference is how you use your time. Highly successful people have mastered the art of managing their time efficiently and effectively. Efficiency means doing things right, whereas effectiveness is doing the right things.
Spending your working day doing the wrong things efficiently is a very dangerous trap. It might make you feel productive, but are you moving forward towards your goals? Are there tasks that you can delegate to others to free up your time for more important functions that have a stronger impact to the growth of your business?
Delegating has countless benefits to business owners and managers, subordinates and the entire organization. Yet, why do so many people fail to delegate properly?
Lack of budget
Monetary factors, such as lack of budget to hire additional people, are one of the first major considerations especially for start-up business owners.
However, make sure that you do not only look at the financial costs, but the costs of time, as well. Include in the equation the pricey repercussions of delays in the execution and achievement of objectives. Money is easy to earn, but you can never buy additional time.
Lack of trust
Sometimes, the needed manpower is available, but you just cannot let go of the minute tasks.
You might feel that your staff is not ready to take on more responsibilities. Do it slowly- once you identify the tasks you can delegate, you can start one at a time to avoid overwhelming the person (and yourself!). Provide the needed support.
Of course, if your reason is a character flaw with a team member, perhaps it would be better to look for other candidates. Choosing the right person is extremely important.
Lack of clear processes
It is difficult to delegate when you cannot concretely explain how to go about the task.
Ill-defined tasks will waste a lot of time and effort and obviously, will not get done correctly. Schedule when you can streamline your processes and workflow, and create organized guidelines for tasks that you plan to delegate.
Lack of decisiveness
Now, ask yourself honestly: do you really want to delegate or you want to keep those tasks for yourself? What is holding you back?
Maybe you feel that you are not that good in planning or negotiating, so you want to work on menial tasks to fill your schedule? Definitely, you can do those tasks better than your staff can, but remember your vision for your business and focus on doing the right things to propel your organization to the right direction.
Now, are you ready to delegate? Below is a general checklist of task that you should delegate:
Routine / scheduled tasks with clear processes
Daily, weekly, monthly tasks that might take a proportionate amount of time to do, but doesn’t require much brain power.
Tasks that can be done better by others
If learning or developing a skill proves to be too time-consuming for you, it is better to turn over the tasks requiring that skill set to someone who can do it better. It can be an in-house personnel or might even be outsourced.
Know and utilize your team members’ skills and abilities. You are all working towards the same goal. If they can do a task better, let them do it.
Tasks others can learn from
This will motivate your subordinates and help them grow in their job too. If you are already good at something, give others the chance to try their hand on it.
The additional training and job maturity will benefit your entire organization. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
Processes you want to save time on
Is there a process that involves passing the work back and forth between yourself and several parties?
Take a look: can one person do all the steps? If yes, consider delegating the entire process to that person. It will save time and improve accountability as the assigned team member can now own the entire process.
Tasks that you can measure concretely
You have heard of the line “What gets measured gets done.” Communicate your goals, standards and deadlines for the results of the delegated task. This gives the person a clearer picture of the purpose of that task, as well as the bottom line he should strive for.
Always remember these 3 important principles:
Choose the right people to delegate to. Consider outsourcing, if you must.
Have clear processes, goals and objectives.
Give the needed support to your team members.
Once you’ve successfully delegated tasks, you can spend more time on the right things: planning for your company’s direction and growth, people development and evaluation, critical decision-making and crisis management.
Now go ahead, divide (the tasks) and conquer (your goals)!