When you’re a busy entrepreneur, every minute counts and proper time management is essential for the smooth running of your business. But since you have to wear so many hats and handle a multitude of tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis, staying organized is a lot easier said than done.
That’s why you need to start delegating. Your team members can handle some of the tasks for you, in order to reduce your workload and take some of the burdens off your shoulders. After all, running a business shouldn’t be a one-man show, but a team effort where all parties bring their contribution to the company’s success.
And yet, delegation comes with its own set of challenges. For most entrepreneurs, passing off responsibility and letting others in charge can actually be a daunting prospect, even if they are well-aware of the benefits it can bring.
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Why is delegation so difficult?
Before we show you how you can use delegation to your advantage, let’s first understand why it can feel like such a burden when it’s actually destined to make your life easier.
For starters, entrepreneurs and business owners are control freaks by definition. They wouldn’t be running a business if they weren’t. It’s a natural tendency for many people to be in control all the time. However, you cannot base your business model on the saying if you want something done right, do it yourself. This might be partly true, but you can’t ignore the fact that it’s virtually impossible to do everything on your own. You have to accept that some things might not live up to your expectations and realize that perfectionism is the enemy of productivity.
The uncertainty and unfamiliarity that delegating tasks usually implies represents another reason why it might not come easy to you. If you’re not used to delegating tasks to other people, it can be quite confusing to figure out what and how you want things to be done. Just as with any other activity, it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it.
But even if delegating is not your favorite thing in the world, it remains a skill that you must learn to master if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. So, here’s what you can do to overcome your fears and be an effective delegator.
Decide which tasks you want to delegate
The first thing you have to focus on is deciding which tasks you need to delegate. You surely have a long list of tasks and responsibilities that you’ve been handling on your own. Now you have to figure out which of these jobs can be carried out by another person.
At a first glance, everything might seem too important to let someone else handle the job. But if you look closely, you’ll surely find at least a few tasks that don’t require your personal intervention. It will take a leap of faith to give one of your employees responsibility for an activity or job in the beginning.
If you’re having trouble identifying these tasks, start by separating them into the following categories:
- Urgent and important
- Urgent and not important
- Not urgent and important
- Not urgent and not important
The tasks that are categorized as not important, regardless of their urgency, can be easily delegated to one of your team members.
Delegate to the right person
Now that you know which tasks you can delegate, it’s time to choose the people you’re going to delegate them to. As an entrepreneur, you should have a talent for matching the right person to the right job, but if that’s not the case, we have a few tips that can help you out.
Firstly, you should choose people based on their skills and abilities, not on their willingness to perform a certain task. The person you’re assigning a task to should be good at handling those types of activities. If you can’t find a person with the right skills and expertise in your team, outsourcing is a great alternative. You can always search for a virtual PA UK specialized in the area of activity that interests you.
Secondly, you can only know if a person is a good fit for a job if you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. This means you have to build close relationships with your employees, understand their wants and needs, and find out where their talents lie.
Provide people with clear instructions
Assign a task is going to work in your favor as long as the people who are doing the job have enough information at their disposal. This means you can’t expect someone to do things right if you don’t explain to them how you want things to be done in the first place.
When you assign a task to one of your employees, you also have to expand on the process they need to follow in order to achieve the desired outcome. Aspects such as the importance of the task, the steps they need to take, or the resources they should use to fulfill it have to be clearly explained before they get down to business. Also, providing feedback on the work they’ve completed can help a lot and improve results in the long run.
Stop micromanaging your employees
When someone is doing a job for the first time, providing guidance and support can make a big difference. However, if you insist on overseeing the activity of your employees constantly and telling or showing them how they should do their job every step of the way, then why are you even delegating?
There are multiple ways to get something done, and just because someone is not using the same methods that you would doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong. It’s important to know when to take a step back and let your employees handle tasks on their own. Your intervention, although welcome at times, can become an inconvenience if taken too far.