Last week, I mentioned that getting better at estimating how long it takes you to manage your tasks, will help you plan your day with greater success. This includes picking the right person to delegate certain activities to.
When you pass off a to do to someone else, be:
1. Matchy Matchy. This is definitely the time to be matchy matchy. Does the task fit with the person’s skillset? Will it be difficult for them to successfully handle it? Or, is it right up their alley? Sometimes picking the wrong person for the job is worse that doing it yourself.
2. Particular. Does the person know his or her own limitations? Do they know how long it will take them to complete your task? Do you get the sense that even though they have the right skillset, they might be overextended? Sometimes picking the right person who’s overwhelmed is worse than doing it yourself.
3. Ready. What if you find the right person with the right talent who (seemingly) is completely free to do your bidding…and they say no? Do you have a back up person in mind? A back up to your back up? Sometimes not thinking ahead will kill your best laid plans.
4. Flexible. What if you find the right – but uncertain – person. Would you consider offering up a job sharing partnership him/her and your back up person? Two people with the right skills who are not over committed working on your project together? Could they work well together? Sometimes you get great results when you find creative solutions, like a two-fer.
We live in a fast-paced life with multiple obligations. Even the family dog has obligations. Busy entrepreneurs and working parents try to become adept at juggling multiple responsibilities. If they have “I’m the only one who can do this the way it should be done” syndrome, it’s certain to lead to burnout and a rapid transformation into Mr. or Ms. GrumpyPants.
Do the obvious (yes, bite the bullet) and consider hiring a temp or virtual assistant, getting help from a colleague or team member, or hire someone to manage a particular activity on a regular basis.
So, keep your head above water and delegate these types of tasks:
- Repetitive Activities. These tasks should be easy to explain and/or have specific written instructions. Examples: data entry, client calls, filing, check voicemail/e-mail, etc.
- “This drives me crazy!” Tasks. These are activities that turn your brain into soup or worse yet, make your blood pressure and stress level rise. For me, that’s bookkeeping. For you, that could be copywriting, web design, research, etc.
- Project Steps. Identify small and big steps and delegate by matching specific action items to skill set. Be clear about expectations and timeline.
- Learning Opportunities. Give someone a chance to shine and learn a new skill. It takes more time in the beginning to get them up to speed (remember to give them all the tools they need to be successful), but in the end, it has the potential to pay huge dividends. Why? Because it will make them AND you look good.
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