Delegation is one of the biggest things that comes up during my talks and in client calls.
Often people feel frustrated because it takes more time to explain and manage the task than it would be to just do it themselves. And once they do end up delegating, they feel like the bottleneck and there is often no ROI for the things they delegate.
I understand this frustration - when I first started delegating tasks, it seems like it add MORE to my plate to record a loom, create a task in Click Up, and answer questions back and forth.
PLUS often the task I was delegating wasn't actually a task that I needed to get done, I was just keeping their pipeline full, so it really was another thing added to my plate. And lastly, I was not managing my time well, so I ended up doing tasks last minute with no time to delegate the tasks or mentor my team.
So here's what I did:
First I need to determine how to effectively select tasks to delegate that would REMOVE things from my plate, not just be "nice to have done" tasks, the things that were important but not so urgent that I didn't have time to delegate it.
Then I got into the mindset that while it often did add more time to explain it once, if it was a repeatable task, it would save me time in the long run.
Next, I found a method for strategically delegating using this reminder: Who does What by When, and How? If I was able to outline all of these questions quickly, I was able to save the back and forth and be super clear about the expectations. The whole process of creating detailed instructions usually only takes me 5-10 mins and ends up saving me hours in the long run.
And lastly, I had to learn how to never TAKE A TASK BACK. This is the quickest way to undermine your team and create a culture of dependency on you - which makes you the bottleneck. If someone hands something off to you and you fix it yourself, they no longer own this task. So I had to learn to lead my team by explaining how things needed to be fixed so they could own the outcome.
Try it yourself with these simple steps for strategic delegation:
First understanding what needs to get done. List everything you're working on.
Decide on a method for prioritization. I like to use the Eisenhower Matrix.
Eliminate (for now) everything that is not important and not urgent.
Identify the tasks that are not urgent but are important. Prioritize the most important task to delegate.
BEFORE you delegate, get a thorough understanding of who does what, by when, and how.
Create a task for them in your project management software with a thorough explanation of the task, including a loom if necessary, a deadline, and a priority. Then assign it to the right person on your team.
Give them a container of time where you will be available to answer questions to eliminate the back and forth. At 10 am the following day or a Monday morning meeting.
Never take a task back, even if there are changes to be made, instead give them feedback on how to improve it and let them fix it and send it back.
Ensure that they are meeting deadlines without micromanaging by having them report on the progress of all their projects once a week.
This process takes time. But it will save you so much time in the long run.
💡 Why this is important: Learning how to strategically delegate will help you manage your time AND lead your team.
Implement this and let me know how it goes,