Delegating is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your business. When you stop wasting time focusing on tasks you’re not good at, hate doing, or shouldn’t be doing, your time is freed up to focus on doing what you do best: running your company and setting the course for success.
For too many of us entrepreneurs (myself included), delegating isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s hard to let go of control, hard to trust our brilliant ideas to others. And then there is the matter of clearly explaining what it is that we need and how we like it done.
There’s an art to delegation, and if you master it, you will be greatly rewarded. If you are struggling with delegating, here are a few tips to help you get on the right track:
1) Keep a journal or a notebook with you at all times during the workday (if you work weekends and nights, make sure you have it handy). For each task you find yourself dreading, hate doing, or find boring, make a note. For example, if you are posting to your Facebook company page on a daily basis and wish someone else could handle it for you, write it down and make a note of what is required of the specific task. Keep track for at least two full weeks.
2) Take yourself to coffee or somewhere away from your office, and go over the list you made. Mark tasks that are similar in nature. For example, group marketing or project management tasks.
3) With the sheet of grouped items in front of you, take out a clean sheet of paper or a blank Word document and write down the overarching task, then the smaller action items that fall under that category. Your first entry might look something like this: Bookkeeping: creating and sending invoices, paying vendors and contractors, entering expenses into Quickbooks, handling tax forms, generating end-of-month reports.
4) Take this list and decide what sort of help you need to handle everything you want to delegate. First, see who on your current team can take some of the work off your plate. If you need more help, then start looking for that person. If you are on a tight budget, plan to bring on a new contractor or employee. The point isn’t to delegate the entire list immediately, but to get you thinking about what you could delegate and to whom.
5) Even when you start delegating the items on your list, keep that journal or notebook handy and continue noting what you can further delegate.
Delegating will cost you some money in the beginning, but in the long run, your company will be able to grow, and you’ll find much greater success. A company can’t grow if there is a limit on its expansion. You are this limit when you try to do it all on your own. You’re only one person, and there are only so many hours in the day. Growth happens with strategic change.
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