Have you considered how to delegate tasks in your business?
If you’ve struggled with being too busy, you probably need to delegate tasks more often. Busy entrepreneurs and moms in business are alarmingly productive with their time. I’m always amazed at what mom entrepreneurs can do in a small amount of time. If it’s one thing I know about working moms who are successful, it’s that they’ve learned to use every ounce of their time as wisely as they can.
Before you delegate, consider this
Do you find yourself doing the same tasks over and over again as a solo entrepreneur? Most of us have regular tasks: things we do often (or more than once).
I like to call those workflows.
Whenever you complete a task more than one time, you can bet that designing and defining a workflow system will make it easier.
One of my most consistent practices in my business is documenting what I do. In fact, every time I do something more than one time, I write it down. I typically capture my system steps in an online document or project system like Google Drive or Asana. Not only is it simple to do, but these apps make the systems available on any device, and sharable to my entire, virtual team. Therefore, documenting tasks with online systems has made life easier on me in every way.
And remember, different people are different. So the key to delegating tasks effectively is creating and documenting systems that help you get things done. This way work can be completed by others and tasks will be delegated effectively around what you do regularly and how you work.
[Tweet “Functional #workflows are built on 2 Dimensions: WHAT you do and HOW you do it!”]
Many entrepreneurs get overwhelmed when defining their systems. But, it can be easy if you follow these four steps.
Before you delegate, define what you do regularly.
To get started, you’ll need to understand what is on your plate. A great way to find clarity is to create a list of daily, weekly and monthly tasks. It’s important for you to not only chart out your client-facing tasks, but also define your traditional ‘back office’ tasks as well.
A good way to do this is to grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side list your daily/weekly tasks and on the right side of the T diagram, create your list of ongoing/maintenance tasks.
Another way to approach your complete list is to work on it chronologically. Consider ‘a day in your life’, and track each task you do daily. Even if you track your time and tasks for a couple of days, you’ll be able to review it and create a list of tasks to delegate.
Be sure to give yourself enough time to pay attention to the details. Since when delegating, a common saying is the ‘devil is in the details’. So, details are necessary to articulate if you want to delegate tasks effectively. Your list should be complete and align with your business. When you’re done, proofread your list to find missing tasks.
Highlight the tasks you ‘could’ delegate if…
After you’ve created your master list, read it over and highlight those tasks that you’d like to delegate if you could.
If you’re a big picture thinker, it may include MANY tasks! However, if you battle perfectionism, you may not want to let go. Successful delegation requires you to create space between being a task-master and transition into being the CEO of your business.
If listing items to delegate fails, try this approach.
Fill in the blank: “If I just had _______ – the right resource, help, someone I could trust, more time… I could do more.
Whatever your answer for the blank is, may actually be an opportunity for task delegation. One of those answers could include both business and personal tasks.
Think about it. Nearly everything you do can be delegated to someone else.
Another way I work with clients on this one is to ask them: “If you had a magic wand, and could wish for anything, what business tasks would you delegate and get off your to-do list?” The answers are usually very indicative of the “WHAT’s” that can be delegated to others.
Articulate step by step how you do each task.
Now that you have your list of what to do, articulate step by step how you do each task.
Yes – literally, sit down and write out one (or all) of your step by step process(es). It is as simple as it sounds and very important.
It’s important to consider the details of how you do things. Especially if you’re thinking of delegating tasks to an assistant, you need to know how things are done. When you do get to the delegation phase, whomever you hire will want to know how you do things. So, details matter here. And, if you use specific systems, apps or tracking tools to complete tasks, be sure to articulate those as well.
Assign each task a time limit to complete.
The fourth step to successful delegation is to assign each task a time limit according to how long each task generally takes you to complete.
Now you have a working systems list that may help you not only find a good support tool but may actually help you find someone else who might be able to do it better or faster for you.
One of the first things that I delegated was ‘staging’ my monthly newsletter. Now, I didn’t abdicate all control over to my virtual assistant. I held onto the parts of the newsletter that required MY touches. When I figured out the parts that only I could do: write specific content, I could delegate the other parts. So then my VA could help me with the administrative tasks such as staging and scheduling blog articles, post social media tips daily, and set up the ‘drop schedule’ for newsletters. Event though many of the tasks required my touch initially, I could delegate tasks during many steps of each process.
[Tweet “The first step to #delegating is inventorying what you do and defining each task step by step”]
But the first step in creating repeatable systems that work for you is inventorying what you do – and defining those things. Over time, you’ll see which tasks REQUIRE your effort, energies and love – and those that others can complete for you. Once you have a good idea of the ‘what’ and ‘how’ – you’ll be well on your way to finding the right support method.
Whether you prefer to write things down on paper (create an actual procedures manual), or if you prefer to have everything you need to manage tucked away in ‘the cloud’ for instant access, you must build a system that helps you to define, prioritize, schedule and remind you of what to work on when.
Adequate planning, successful execution and regular reviews will help you continuously improve your systems and keep them in check. Reminders help you stay on track and you will be better able to support yourself with rocking systems that fit your business and lifestyle by design.
Delegate Non-Revenue Tasks
Many times entrepreneurs who are used to doing it all, have trouble considering what tasks to delegate. And, if that is you, consider delegating tasks that are passive or administrative. For instance, you wouldn’t want to delegate the tasks you MUST do such as sales conversations, client work, or generating creative content. However, you could delegate tasks such as SEO, proofreading, finding visuals, preparing presentations and other non-revenue tasks. So when your thinking of tasks to delegate, be sure to consider which things you MUST do, and those that don’t require your special touch.
After reading this article, what is one task that would make a difference for you if you could delegate it? Please share your task delegating experiences or questions with our readers in the comment box below.