How good are you at delegating?
We are currently experiencing one of the busiest times of the year both socially, and for a lot of people who work in retail, productively. Whilst we can use our time management skills to try to fit it all in. Sometimes we just need a bit of help. When our to-do list is too full and we’re not going to complete our tasks by the required deadline, we’re better delegating or outsourcing some of the work that could be done quicker by someone else.
However, it can be hard to let go and trust someone else with our work. What if they make a mistake? They might not be able to do the work as well as me? It will take time to train someone else, so I might as well do the work myself? These are all common fears but if we let go of them, delegating tasks can provide us with the time to concentrate on the work that we’re really good at. Instead of getting bogged down in the other tasks that need doing but don’t necessary require our skills.
If you are struggling to let go of some of your tasks, even though you’re feeling overwhelmed, these techniques might help:
Face up to the truth:
- You might think that no one else can do the job as well as you but how will you know if you don’t give them a chance? They might do the work in a different way but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the wrong way.
- Team members might be eager to be given extra responsibility and will be keen to do a good job.
- Someone else might actually do the work quicker, as they are able to concentrate fully on the task.
Train your staff:
- You might be afraid to delegate as you will have to spend precious time training someone else, when you could spend the time doing the work yourself. But a bit of time spent on training now could lead to long term benefits, if you can delegate certain tasks permanently.
- No-one is expecting you to do everything yourself, so stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Trying to do too much will only lead to stress and burnout, so do something about it now.
- Accept that someone else might be able to do the tasks well.
Plan for success:
Often the way you go about delegating will make all the difference:
- Delegate the task, stating the required outcome but allow staff members to complete it their own way, they will relish the extra responsibility.
- Assign tasks based on strengths, if you know that someone has good attention to detail they could be delegated the task of proof-reading, managing the accounts or writing reports.
- Ask for progress reports, so that you can assist with any problems that might be holding them back.
- Trust staff to do a good job, when people have faith in us, we often want to prove them right.
- Give praise and positive feedback, this will reinforce their desire to do a good job in the future.
If 2017 has been hectic for you. Now is the time to think about delegation, so that 2018 can be productive without pushing you to your limits. You could even make a start Christmas Day. I’m sure there are plenty of family members eager to assist with peeling potatoes or washing up.
Have a great Christmas and here’s to a very productive 2018.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor