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Six Tasks You Should Delegate

  • August 11, 2022
  • Written by Community Futures Meridian

Delegation is often a difficult thing for entrepreneurs to get their heads around. Let’s face it; no one does a specific task better than you, do they? And it takes more time to teach someone to do something than to do it yourself, right? Not only that, almost all jobs are crucial, so they can’t be entrusted to just anyone else—true? These are just a few reasons business leaders kick delegating tasks and projects down the road. But is that wise?

We all know the rationale for delegating tasks; it frees a manager up for more important things, allowing them to prioritize more efficiently. However, there is another significant benefit; it makes you a better, more popular leader. It helps those to whom you delegate learn new skills; it empowers them. As they grow, so does their ability to assist you and take even more things off your plate.

The primary reason people don’t delegate is that they fear the job won’t be done as well as they could do it and that they will have to go back and correct what’s been done. This is a valid concern. However, you can minimize the risk by setting accurate parameters for the task, explaining how it fits into the bigger picture and why it is important, and being clear about the outcome (where possible, provide examples). Choosing the best person to delegate to is also important. And, don’t be afraid to teach them how to do the job. Look at this as a one-time investment of time because once the person knows how to do the task, they can handle the same, or similar, jobs time and time again.

If delegating still makes you nervous, consider the following list of jobs you might hand off to someone else.

  1. Repetitive tasks that require less skill. Maybe you handle your own filing so you always know where everything is and can keep control of the paper flow. Teach someone else exactly how you want your papers and folders filed; it won’t take long, and it’s something else off your to-do list. There are dozens of things we do each day that fall under the “it’s quicker and easier to do this myself” mantra.
  2. Tasks that take a small amount of time are ideal candidates for delegation. We often get fooled into doing these ourselves because, hey, “they only take a minute,” but all those minutes add up. It’s not just the time it takes to do a two-minute job; you have to include distraction time, i.e., the time it took to think about it and stop what you were doing and the time it takes to refocus on the more important task in hand afterward.
  3. Routine tasks. Anything you do regularly could potentially be delegated; if it has to be done more than once, teaching someone to do it will be time well spent.
  4. Delegate easily teachable tasks—this is easy and effective time management.
  5. Tasks that don’t play to your skills. We can’t be good at everything; if you struggle to create an Excel spreadsheet, or format a document, delegate the job.
  6. Finally, delegate tasks that are part of deadline-driven projects. Deadlines are almost always stressful. Step back, look at the project and extract all those tasks that do not need you to touch them and delegate.

One last unexpected benefit from effectively delegating work is that you will see new ways a task can be approached. This in itself can lead to greater efficiency. Never underestimate the power of delegation to help you focus on the critical job of running your company.

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