Delegating work is not as easy as it may seem, especially when you’re a perfectionist. You may prefer to do everything yourself in order to have everything to your standards. But the truth is, it will only lead you to exhaustion and burnout. Delegation is one of the major keys to maximizing your productivity and keeping yourself sane during tight deadlines or moments of large workload. It’s a skill, so it can be learned and improved over time. For starters, you can try to implement these tips below.
Pick the Best Person to Delegate to — and Trust That Person!
First things first, choose what tasks you are willing to delegate. If you struggle with this, just delegate what you can’t do and what doesn’t interest you. The key to delegating work efficiently is to pick the best person to delegate to. Listen and observe. Give work to people who you think can really deliver, not the people who are the least busy. Also, trust them. You have to give them a chance to do the job their way. Don’t intervene.
Always Include Instructions
You may think that the task you delegate seems easy and obvious. Nevertheless, always include instructions with each task you delegate anyway. If you have specific preferences on how the assignment will be carried out, include that information. If you have a strict deadline, be clear about it. Being specific with details and instructions from the start will avoid miscommunication and allow your tasks to be executed effectively. It will also save a lot of your time and your employees’ time.
Teach New Skills
Just because your team lacks the ability to perform a certain task, it doesn’t mean the task can’t be delegated. Most skills can be learned and improved with time. Taking the time to teach them will pay long-term dividends. The first few times you assign these tasks will likely take more time as your staff tries to get the hang of it, but eventually, they will be able to perform the same tasks on their own.
Check on Progress
When you delegate your work to certain individuals, you need to trust them to do the job their way. But don’t forget to check in periodically for progress. Don’t look over your employee’s shoulder or watch their every move. Simply tell your employee that you will catch up with him from time to time so they won’t feel they’re being “inspected”.
Give Public and Written Credit
So your employees have done the job you delegated to them. And they did it well. Great! But don’t forget to let them know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. If possible, don’t just thank them. Give them well-deserved public and written credit. It will inspire loyalty, provide real satisfaction for the good work done, and become the basis for mentoring and performance reviews.
The sooner you start delegating tasks, the sooner you’ll develop the expertise to do it effectively. Remember that the process will never be perfect, but you can always learn from your experiences and make adjustments for improvements.
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