It’s not always easy to hand off a beloved pet project, or even a more mundane one. Here are some tips to help you clear your workload in order to free you up to forge ahead.
So, obviously, the first step for you is going to be coming to terms with the feeling of letting some of your work go. This can seem counter intuitive, especially when we’re dealing with an ordinary everyday type of task. But it can still be surprisingly difficult to get used to that. Baby steps are the key! Let go the little items first and then move on to the bigger.
- Guess the Weight
In order to let go of smaller tasks first, you need to know which tasks are actually the smaller ones. Make a comprehensive list of everything that needs to get done and then go through it and decide which tasks are small, medium, or large. Or light, medium, and heavy. Whatever works for you!
- Mix and Match
It’s no us delegating tasks to team members or assistants who don’t have the skill set needed for success. Take a moment to identify any tasks that require a specialized knowledge or previous experience. It may take a little while for training to take place before you can delegate these tasks.
- Tell ‘Em What You’re Gonna Tell ‘Em
This one is important. Never assume that an assistant will know exactly how to complete a task. Even the most seemingly “normal” tasks can have weird quirks or preferences involved. It’s best to have fairly detailed instructions attached to each task; at least the first couple of times.
- Relevant Skills
To continue our point from #4, it might be necessary to teach your assistant or team member a few new tricks in order for them to be up to the task at hand. Don’t worry though, a little bit of training up front can save you hours in delegation down the line!
- Respectful Distance
Once you’ve delegated, try to stay away and let your assistant get to work. Having said that, it’s completely fine to have a check in, once in a while. Imagine it as peering over the top of the cubicle.
If you see that a task has been completed well (or even at all), a little positive reinforcement can go a long way. Use it as an opportunity to provide feedback on tips to get an even better outcome next time!
- Watch Out for the Rebound
In very rare occasions, an assistant or team member might not be able to complete a task, or might think they’re not able to complete it. In these situations, it is far better to coach them through the steps necessary to succeed, rather than finishing it yourself. This ensures that they will know what to do next time, and provides an important communication touch point between you.
This is one step sometimes too easily forgotten: make sure you set a desired completion date for each task. It’s important for your assistant to know how much time to designate for each item you have them completing
- Tell ‘Em What You Told ‘Em
Sometimes we delegate a task and brush off our hands, assuming we’ve been crystal clear and that it’s being taken care of. Of course, this isn’t always the case so it’s important to get a verbal (or, more likely, written) confirmation that your task has been accepted and everything is good to go!
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