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03 Apr

First who, then what


Date: 2014-04-03 11:41 Comments: 0 st

The situation for many people is as follows: They obviously have too much to do and the amount of works does not appear to be decreasing anytime soon. They need to delegate some tasks to other people, but it just does not seem to happen. They work away but are burdened by the heavy work-load and keep thinking that “if I can just finish this, it will feel better and get easier” (but it never does).

I recognize certain aspects of this. When I think aout what I do during my work-days, what my tasks and assignments consist of, I also think of myself as the doer of these tasks. It demands extra effort by myself to determine what could be done by someone else (“since they are my tasks and I am the one who knows how they need to be done”) and when I am the most burdened by my work-load I tend to feel reluctant towards putting in that extra effort.

The secret is to delegate more
I recently did a follow-up on how a group of participants from one of my open courses had progressed. The market manager Christina said “Since I last saw you I have gotten a new colleague who I can delegate tasks to and suddenly I have thought of plenty of tasks I can now be releived of!”.

This is a common response to the issue of delegation. If we look at the sheer amount of things we need to do, we tend not to see the forest for all the trees. But, if we address the matter from another angle entirely and instead try to clarify who we could delegate to, it is often easier to think of things we could delegate.

Try this

  1. Take an empty piece of paper, a whiteboard or the empty space you most prefer working with.

  2. Make a list of all the people you could see yourself delegating something to.
    These might for instance be:
    • Your closest colleague/s
    • Your employees
    • Your boss
    • Other participants in the project you are working in
    • Staff working with your supplier
    • Your contact at a client’s office
    • Other people working for your client
    • Your contact at the travel agency
    • That nice man you met at the party last week, he who works at a staffing agency
    • A colleague working in another part of your company
    • Colleagues employed at your company but working in another city

  3. Skim through the list and stop 30 seconds for every name and think about what you do today which this person could do instead.

    If it helps, skim through your to-do-list (where of course everything you need to do is listed) and look for a task that could be appropriate to delegate to the person in question, and which would feel great to transfer from your to-do-list to the list of delegated tasks.

  4. Alright. I am guessing you have found at least one or two tasks which you can get rid of by delegating (perhaps you even found many). If so, do what you must to be able to delegate it, for instance define what the task is and what material you need to complete it, ask the person you want to delegate to if he or she feels like doing the task, et c.

Free up valuable time
If you clarify who you could delegate tasks to, it will become easier to identify things you could delegate and hence make it possible for you to decrease your workload. This way you will have more time for what really matters in terms of reaching the goals you are responsible for in your business, and only you know what this is.

What is your way?
How do you delegate tasks you want to be rid of quickly and efficiently? Leave a comment to share your tip!

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