Delegating tasks to others is one very good time management and productivity tool. When time constraints and impending deadlines are looming, it is not the weak person, but the strong one, that can assign some of the load to others. “Many hands make light work”!
We all tend to bite off more than we can chew from time to time, whether at work or at home. But there comes a point where we feel that crunch and just know there is no way we are going to be able to get the job done on our own. Time to call in the reinforcements!
A team approach is often the best way to handle large products and difficult tasks. However, most of us do have a difficult time trusting others to take on their share and do the job right. It is human nature. No one can do that task as well as we can. And we feel like we have failed.
Delegating for the most part is a learned behaviour, and resorting to this measure does not make us weak. We all need a little help here and there. Knowing and embracing this truth can be one of our greatest strengths.
When faced with a project that you may need help with, the first step should be to break it down in to pieces of individual tasks or groups of tasks. Then decide which of those tasks your skills and experience are best suited for, and can be managed within your time schedule. Be careful at this stage though as you still may have a tendency to keep too much of the work back to yourself. Go over your selected tasks a few times more to see what else you can weed out.
If you are having trouble deciding what to let go of, start with the smaller tasks such as photo copying or research. Or let someone else fetch the supplies. Crossing these few chores off your list will free up a good chunk of time and allow you to concentrate more on the actual project.
Once you have taken your own responsibilities from the project, it is time to delegate the rest. Assign these tasks to your team members based on their skills, experience and available time. Include clear instructions and deadlines. Be approachable for any questions or concerns the team member may have. Regular meetings or chat sessions will go a long way in ensuring all pieces of the project are completed properly, on time, and fit together.
As you become more comfortable with delegating, and your team, deciding when you need help and to whom tasks should be assigned becomes easier.
An Outsource Provider such as a Virtual Assistant can also be an integral part of your team!
About the Author:
Deborah Taylor is a diversified administrative professional with more than 25 years of varied and progressive experience in all areas of office management and administration. President of AVA Business Services, Deborah and her team provide Virtual Assistance and local Freelance support for today’s global marketplace.