Is your calendar as cluttered as your teenager’s room? Do you regret spending hours on the phone tracking down information, resolving problems, and making appointments? Do you put on more miles than most cab drivers while running errands, shopping, and delivering family members to events? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to delegate. Although these tips are targeted primarily at business owners, anyone can benefit from the concepts presented here.
Recognize when you need help. Experienced business owners know they cannot manage all the roles and tasks in their business AND expect it to grow. Give yourself permission to let go, and free yourself up to focus solely on the tasks you enjoy by delegating what you can.
Identify what you don’t do well. Are you often late sending out invoices? Is your website long overdue for updates? Are you frustrated when you hear colleagues mention they are finding clients via social media and blogging? Delegating to an employee, Virtual Assistant, or intern may actually pay for itself by improving cash flow, reducing costs, or preventing errors.
Identify tasks not worthy of your time. You may be good at them, you may enjoy them, but they may be taking time away from tasks that require your unique skill or personal attention. While the decision to delegate is a battle faced by business people every day, once you realize the immense amount of time you can gain by letting someone else handle tasks that don’t require your direct involvement, you’ll actively look for more things to hand off. Here’s a short list of possibilities to get you started:
• Calendar and scheduling
• Database management
• Editing and proofreading
• Expense reports
• Filter and manage emails
• Filter resumes
• Follow up telephone calls
• Manage teams
• Meeting and event management • Newsletter coordination
• Post jobs on career sites
• Project management
• Office relocation coordination
• Operations management
• Send cards and gifts
• Social media posts
• Travel coordination
• Update websites
Recognize the benefits to others. I’ve often heard bosses say they’re hesitant to delegate to staff members because those staffers are already so busy. But if the boss doesn’t clear his or her plate to free up some time for strategic thinking, things will continue to be crazy busy for everyone. So do yourself and your staff a favor and delegate what you can so you’ll free up your time for big-picture thinking. You may also be giving someone else the opportunity to derive joy from doing things you don’t enjoy.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,
Guest columnist Sue Kramer Harrawood is the CEO of Peace of Mind Virtual Assistance. The firm partners with established professional service solo entrepreneurs and small teams to allow clients to focus on tasks they enjoy and that generate revenue while entrusting their virtual professional with the management of administrative, bookkeeping, marketing and operations responsibilities. Sue also helps business owners and executives work successfully with their assistants through her How to Work with an Assistant consulting program.