Delegation?  I’d rather do it myself…

We could all use a helping hand sometimes, even you. Don’t let your daily responsibilities completely overwhelm you. I’m sure you know the saying, “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” but this shouldn’t be to the point of a nervous breakdown. And the truth is, by trying to do everything yourself, you’re not giving the talented people you’ve hired to be part of your team the opportunity to develop their talents and grow as employees. There are only so many hours in the day and there’s only so much you can accomplish in that time. Before you start panicking about how many things you need to complete right now, please read on.

There is a solution

One of the best ways to ease the stress, overcome what can feel like an insurmountable number of tasks, and keep your business productive and thriving is learning how to delegate tasks to others. Mastering this will help you build a successful team, strong company, and positive mental state.

Most people don’t delegate work to others because it takes a lot of effort to try and explain a subject they already know about. This may feel like wasted time and something you could just as easily do yourself since you already know the subject matter.

However, in spite of the extra time it might take initially to turn a project over to someone else, there are benefits to doing so. If you delegate a task to someone else, you help develop that person and their skills, while giving them the opportunity to contribute and shine. You may even find that the project benefits from a fresh perspective – perhaps making it better. Delegating tasks also frees up time for you to work on another project, which increases your productivity. Delegation really comes down to making the best use of your time and skills, while helping others on your team grow. This is a win-win.

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To delegate or not to delegate, that is the question

When it comes time to divvy out work to others, ask yourself the following questions first:

  1. Will the task truly allow for the growth and development of another’s skills?
  2. Will this be a recurring task in the future?
  3. Will I have enough time to delegate the task properly? In other words, will there be enough time for training and follow up?
  4. Will someone else be able to handle this task, or is it imperative that I complete it myself?
  5. Will this task be critical for long-term success? Is this something that I should truly delegate or ultimately work on myself?

A few more things to consider are project deadlines and expectations. Is there available time to complete the job? Is there time to redo the job if it is done incorrectly? How important are the results? Would a failure be catastrophic?

Plan of attack

Start by creating a delegation worksheet so you know what is being worked on and who will be doing the work. When choosing whom to delegate to, think about that person’s experience and skills. Will they need to be trained at all and does the person have time to take on extra work? These questions are important and could be the difference between successful delegation and creating more work for you. Having to jump back in to complete or fix the project defeats the purpose.

I know this may seem like a lot to think about in regards to delegating a task, but if you come up with a tracking sheet and checklist, or just review these questions when you want to assign work to others, it will end up saving you a lot more time in the long run. You’ll be able to follow the progress of the projects you delegate and have peace of mind, while focusing on other needs that might be more pressing. Just remember to clearly articulate the desired outcome of each job to your employees… and good luck!