Time Management: Why And How Should you Delegate Effectively?

Time Management: Why And How Should you Delegate Effectively?

Time Management: Why And How Should you Delegate Effectively?

Delegation literally means outsourcing. No one is an expert in everything. Your expertise is specific and it cannot be spread everywhere. In other words, you cannot be a jack of all trades.

Even though you can display interest in learning new things, life does not allow you to always learn. You have time constraints.

You need to produce to make everyone happy. So here comes delegation at your service. And, it is an important part of effective time management.

When you are designing a magazine cover, the idea or the layout can be yours. But starting from putting your idea in the paper (or a chart) in the draft form to making it a posh, glossy, colourful and beautiful magazine cover, there is a lot of different aspects involved and you cannot deal with all of them; if you choose to deal with all of them, this will be the last thing you are designing.

So you either have a team allocated to you, or you find one for yourself. You delegate different tasks to different people. Someone draws the draft out; someone else prints it for you, someone else sends it for approval, someone else takes care of the to and from of the printing process, someone else compiles everything together- see I can go on writing and there are essentially so many steps from the idea coming out of your mind to the idea getting its final shape.

You can choose to learn all by yourself; but do you think that it is possible? You have to spend reasonable amount of time and you have your regular things to do (usually under pressure).

So you now agree with me that delegation is vital (hopefully!). Let us see how to do it.

Decide and let go

First of all, it is the starting syndrome. You have to make a decision. You have to make your mind that it is not necessary to take care of everything. Sometimes the unnecessary guilt takes over.

The fact that you are not doing it by yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t care for it. Get rid of all the ifs and buts and just decide to let go.

Identify tasks to delegate

Once you have made up your mind, identify those tasks that don’t fit into your expertise. It may be one or more tasks; the key is to identify those tasks correctly.

Identify the right persons

The tasks that are to be outsourced are selected. Right, you now have to make the vital choice of the correct persons. Remember, you have decided to give this task to someone else because you are not an expert in handling that task.

So you have to choose another person who is not just able to handle the task but who can do it efficiently for you. The purpose of delegating tasks should be served; and you should save time and energy in delegating the tasks.

If you do delegate the task to a wrong person, you have to spend a substantially large amount of time in reviewing the completed tasks and correcting the associated shortcomings. So be wise and choose the right person.

The deadline (don’t be too strict or too loose about it)

When you divide the task among different persons be sure to make it clear about the deadline. Mention the deadline clearly with emphasize, if needed. However do not be too strict about the deadline if you think that it may trade the quality of the work.

Don’t forget to review the delegated work

When you receive the completed tasks from different persons, you must review all of them before moving on to the next step or finalizing things. After all, the major job or the task is yours and you have divided it among different persons.

You should be accountable for the final task or the outcome. So make sure that everything is correct before further processing.

Here are some additional points to take care of

Make it clear- the purpose of the work, what is to be done exactly, when is the deadline, which area needs to be attended more and which is not so important and so on.

Provide necessary support- provide all the necessary background materials, tutorials, training etc. that are needed to carry out the delegated task.

The accountability- that’s a caveat. People won’t be serious since it is not their work but yours and they are doing it for you. So as applicable make the accountability clear. It is either you or the person doing the task is accountable for its consequences and outcomes.

Do not overdo delegation- it will take extra time and effort to review the delegated tasks.

Delegation is an art and if appropriately used, it can support you in your job/business.

Comments

  1. Jen Juan says

    I am nowhere being a leader. I usually just work from home but with all the things I needed done (yesterday!), I really have to delegate some of my non-income generating tasks like perhaps outsource a virtual assistant or hire my sister to do some of the menial tasks so I can focus more on things that are more productive. So thanks for this post! It just gave me enough motivation to start delegating.

  2. Dennis Edell says

    I recently started outsourcing two major tasks, I dunno if I could let go of smaller things, I have that problem. lol

    • says

      I know what you mean Dennis. If you start doing some outsourcing and keep on practicing the same for a while, you’d be surprised how much you could get done with delegating.

  3. Ted says

    Delegation is great, and I would like to try, but it’s a bit difficult to start! You’re never really sure of what you’re gonna get, and if it can be better than what I do I’m sure it could be worse too!

    • says

      Ted, sure – at the start you should be prepared to expect some bad results. You should be very careful in choosing the tasks to outsource and also the person you outsource the task to. Over the time, things will get a lot better and effective!

  4. Ann says

    I agree to what you have said. Your prowess and talent has its own limitation. You need the insights of other people in order for you to succeed. Good for pointing out the importance of delegations.

  5. Oliver Tausend says

    Hi Jane,

    thanks for sharing your take on delegation. It is very important. I would like to add one piece of advice: The first thing we should do before we start delegating is eliminating. How often do we delegate tasks that aren’t worth being done by anybody ? Eliminating first, delegating second.

    Take care

    Oliver

    • says

      A wonderful point Oliver. Yes indeed eliminating helps reducing the junk and concentrate only on those things that really need to be taken care of.

  6. Tim says

    Hello Jane, you’ve pretty much summed up what outsourcing is. To get stuffs done, this is a must-learn-skill. I’m not perfect in this nor do I claim to be…everyone learns and this is something I’m putting time into learning!

    Tim

  7. says

    Great post Jane and you are so right.

    There are areas that I need handled that I just don’t know how to do. The majority of it, I take the time to learn and yes, it is very time consuming. But when you don’t have the funds to outsource every single thing, you have to learn to do them yourself. But then there are things like graphics that I am not even going to claim to know how to do. So those I will step outside and hire someone to fulfill that particular part of what I need. But, I will get to the point where I’m outsourcing more as time goes on and the funds allow.

    Really great tips and enjoyed how you laid everything out for us. This is a really important step that we all will be able to implement eventually.

    Adrienne

    • says

      Adrienne, thanks for your wonderful comment. I agree with your part about learning to do stuff yourself when you don’t have enough funds to outsource. But mostly from my experience, what I’ve seen is that by outsourcing carefully chosen tasks I’m able to increase my earnings by many fold – that means more funds to outsource upcoming tasks, more time for myself to do profitable stuff and hence more profits!

  8. says

    Hey Jane, funny I have had a real stubborn streak about outsourcing until just recently and found a great very inexpensive resource. My coach actually suggested it to me, and frankly I am so pleased with the suggestion I will also be writing a blog post about it. (even though it’s unusual for me to write on this sort of thing.

    I’ll tell you now… it’s called Fiverr… and everything is $5. (Five Bucks)… it’s amazing what some talented individuals will do for a Fiverr!! LOL

    I have seen some of the completed work from a few of the bidders… and as long as you get the moment to talk to them and look at some work… it’s so worth the preliminary checking.

    I am going to hire a few people for different tasks. It’s silly to be stuck on things that don’t produce.

    Great suggestion. See.. we both gave each other a kick in the butt this week!

    Jayne

    • says

      Jayne, Fiverr is surely a great place! Only thing is that we have to be careful in choosing the gigs! Otherwise, ya its great. So how’s your week?

  9. Janet says

    Jane, aloha. Excellent points and tips on delegation. The reason I think people so often have difficulty delegating, Jane, is because they do not have clearly in their minds what they want and thus cannot communicate it.

    To give instructions and to delegate, you need to know what you want the end result to be. Far, far too often that is fuzzy in the person’s mind.

    When people do it all themselves, they can hold that rough idea in their minds and then adjust as they are going along.

    Just happened to notice Jayne’s comment above and I concur that Fiverr can be a terrific beginning into the world of outsourcing.

    Well done, Jane. Best wishes for a terrific weekend. Until next week, aloha. Janet

  10. says

    Hi Jane,
    I figured that I would outsource as my blog becomes more self sufficient financially, though now I think I will have to look into it, Especially that link that Jayne shared.

    Stacy

  11. says

    It’s essential to delegate. Believe me I know from experience that there simply isn’t enough hours in a day to do everything yourself.

    But you need to be in charge of the project and make sure it’s done according to plan, or better. Which on it’s own is a lot of work. Sometimes so much that it can be easier and better to do some of it yourself.

  12. says

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for putting it together. Design skills is something where i lacks hardcore in. So, I always have to outsource the design work. I usually use DigitalPoints and Fiverr for my outsourcing work.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend, Jane.

    ~Dev

  13. says

    Great points, and I agree with the commenter on deciding what to eliminate, too. I’m a blogger, a mom of 5 kids, and I run a part-time home-based business. Up until now, I haven’t delegated much, but I’m working on it in all areas, including the kids. I have to – to keep my sanity! LOL

  14. says

    That’s very perfect. It would be a nice example to know what are the aspects you’ve delegated and what you take on your own endeavorer. I agree, one man can’t lift up all the loads. I’m too busy and I know this is because I need to do everything by myself. Wait, till I can afford some tasks to outsource ;-)

    • says

      Hey Suresh, I do have a VA who helps me with a variety of tasks every month. We maintain several Google doc shared spreadsheets where we report on completing each other’s part of the work and drop the ball in the other’s court. I also cut 50% of my effort in organizing things as he does it for me :)

  15. Anna says

    I guess delegating and outsourcing is probably one of the most important issues of the modern business world as present day technologies are developing so quickly that it’s impossible to catch up with all of them at eh same high level. I admit that I’m not an expert in some spheres and I will delegate this task to professionals rather than will try to do it myself and then redo and redo again and again.
    But delegating tasks is really challenging – your reputation is in stake. Thus everything should be done carefully and with consideration.

  16. says

    Hey Jane I try and outsource some work especially when I am in work overload…but what are you suppose to do when they end up not meeting deadlines. It drives me crazy then I still end up having to do the work.

  17. says

    I can say that delegating is a big problem for me. I want to do it all myself. Maybe I think that I’m the only person that can do it proper. Honestly, I need to get better at it. This article will help me for sure.

  18. Zain says

    Outsourcing your marketing not only saves you money, but is the best way to survive the economic downturn and ensure your company is well positioned to capture growth once the economy recovers. It’s what you do now that will ultimately pay huge dividends later on.

  19. Gabbrielle Ortiz says

    Nice post, Jane!
    I am also into outsourcing. Although it has lots of benefits, like any other stuff, it also has a few disadvantages. Security risk is one example. Other examples are communication and you wouldn’t have any idea if the person is doing the job that he’s hired to do.
    Personally, even if you have a large company or a small business, whenever you outsource, it is necessary to create virtual workspace. By using virtual workspace tools, it’ll be much easier to communicate to your staff wherever they are in the world, and it’ll also give you assurance since you’ll be using a time tracking software. You could monitor their productivity and help them whenever you see some things that need improvement.

    • says

      Gabbrielle, yes with the internet and the availability of online tools it has become much easier to co-ordinate with staff, no matter wherever they are. I find Google docs to be the simplified form of effective work space sharing!

  20. says

    delegation has become so vital i dont view it as an optional but rather mandatory part of what i do. when you have so much to do you need to spread the work and let others put something into it. that way you get both variety and work gets done on time. thanks for a great post.

  21. hiren says

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for putting it together. Design skills is something where i lacks hardcore in. So, I always have to outsource the design work. I usually use DigitalPoints and Fiverr for my outsourcing work.

  22. Nats says

    Some good points raised here, like others commenting here I have looked at how I use my time and subsequently those tasks that steal my time. Having done this I listed those that are easily outsourced and started the processing of outsourcing. But of course that process can be time consuming but I am sure will be worth it.

  23. Andreas Pazer says

    I am nowhere being a leader. I usually just work from home but with all the things I needed done (yesterday!), I really have to delegate some of my non-income generating tasks like perhaps outsource a virtual assistant or hire my sister to do some of the menial tasks so I can focus more on things that are more productive. So thanks for this post! It just gave me enough motivation to start delegating.

  24. says

    many workers have problems to arrange their tasks. i can take example of me who work 50 hours per week, have 2 hours/day to school. so i get busy all the time and sometimes if i don’t plan my time well i can get another trouble. your article is welcome and i took most of your techniques so that i can better arrange my time management.

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