If we had infinite time, wouldn’t the world be a better place? Unfortunately, time is finite. This means that for every minute that goes by, we won’t have the chance to go back in time and change that minute. Once the minute passes, it’s gone. This may sound a little bleak but it is the reality.
Since time is finite, we have to think of effective strategies to make the most of our limited time in order to improve productivity. There are many strategies available but we will focus on delegating tasks effectively.
So what is delegation?
Delegation is the act of giving the responsibility or authority to another person to carry out specific activities. For example, a manager is in charge of developing a marketing plan for the new release of a food chain. The manager may choose to give his/her authority to an intern to research the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing plan. This is known as delegation of tasks.
Benefits of delegation
- Increase productivity
• Skill development and enhancement
• Decreased delays for those waiting on you
• Increased motivation
• Improved job satisfaction
• Stimulates creativity and initiative
With all these perceived benefits, here are the 3 common warning signs to look out for that show you should be delegating:
1. You have a lot of routine tasks:
If you spend everyday doing the same tasks, set time aside to evaluate what tasks aren’t high priority, complex or strategic. These are the tasks that you should be delegating to maximise your time.
2. You feel stressed:
Nothing is worse than feeling stress with a pile of tasks to complete. If your stress level is rising, this is a sign that you should delegate more.
3. Important tasks do not get done:
If important tasks are being left undone, this is another warning sign that you should delegate more.
6 Steps to delegating tasks effectively
1. Select the right person
Make sure that the person you are delegating your tasks to is knowledgeable and skilled in that particular area. For example, if you were delegating an accounting task, you would choose a person who is specialised in accounting rather than someone with a background in human resources.
2. Define the task
When you delegate your task, always inform the person you are delegating to about the nature of the task, and important key areas. Let the person know exactly what you want done rather than letting them do it without any instructions. If you give no clear instructions, this will usually lead to undesired task results, and making the person re-do the task again which affects motivation and productivity.
3. Plan the task
If you are delegating a large task, split it into smaller segments and plan to delegate which segment to who. If you are planning to delegate it to one person, set reasonable time for him/her to complete the task.
4. Set goals
For every task you delegate, set goals to achieve. For example, if you are delegating a draft report to someone, you may want an outline of the report due at x date, then a detailed draft of the paragraphs at x date, and so forth. If you set clear goals, then the person you are delegating your task to will know what you expect, and they can manage their time efficiently to get it done.
5. Review task
When the task has been complete, look over it. Check to see if it has been done correctly and up to your standard. Remember although someone else complete the task, it also affects you so review it carefully.
6. Say thank you and reward
Make sure the people you delegated your tasks to know that their efforts have been recognised and appreciated.
Remember that because delegation is about getting things done through others, be sure to show your appreciation to them because if they don’t believe that their efforts are recognised, they will lose motivation and productivity.
Do you delegate your tasks? What is your experience in letting other people take responsibility over your tasks? Do you have a helpful tip that you would like to share with others about successfully delegating your tasks? Share your thoughts in the comments below!