You got into business because there’s something you’re driven to do. Something you’re terrific at. Something your clients love. Now you have employees, and suppliers. There are problems to solve. People who need your time. 1,001 decisions you need to make so important things happen on time. You have commitments!
You have less time for some of the things you love doing too. Less time to work with clients. Less time to find new opportunities. Maybe even less time to enjoy the rewards of running a successful business?
Perhaps you’re starting to wonder where all the excitement went?
Learn to Start, Stop and Keep
What tasks have you learned to do because they were necessary? Is it keeping the books? Or ordering supplies? Running a profitable business takes coordination and planning. But it doesn’t mean you’re great at everything that’s needed. Or that you enjoy it.
Some things are better done by someone else. Someone who loves doing that work, and rocks it like you’ve never had the heart to do!
- What would you START doing if only you had the time? What work could you dive into that would increase revenue, cuts costs, or improve the quality of your life? Picture it clearly. Sink into the feeling you’ll have when you’re sailing along with work you want to do.
- What could you STOP doing if you had someone who was ready, willing and able to take on more responsibility? What could you ask an employee or another service provider to do? Now imagine how great you’ll feel when you give that responsibility to someone else!
- What should you KEEP doing because you’re the best person for the job? What activities best use your talent? What do you need to keep doing to drive your business and feel great? Imagine having more time to do what you do better than anyone else.
Delegating work isn’t magic
Let’s start with what delegation isn’t. It isn’t a magic wand that makes work vanish from your desk forever. It isn’t about dumping all the rotten work on someone else. In the short term delegation can be more work rather than less.
If parts of your business are a mess because no one knows what to do, then maybe you need to delegate the job of organizing things?
If your employees know what needs done but no one has a clue what “good enough” means to you then you have to clarify the outcome before you can delegate.
It takes work to let go of work. But it’s worth it!
Delegating work is like growing a tree
When you plant a tree you need the roots to grow. Forget the leaves or the flowers. Without a good root system the tree dies.
That’s a lot like getting your business up and running. Establishing profitable operations requires your close attention. After all, everything else depends on this.
Once the roots are established, you have sales and profits that nourish the rest of the business. Now things can really grow. Just like a healthy tree you can branch out, and withstand the occasional storm.
Now you’re ready to delegate some work so you can focus on the things you do best.
8 tips to delegate effectively:
- Focus on the outcome you need. What does a great job look like?
- After the outcome is clear you’re ready to talk about when and how things need to be done
- Be clear about the level of authority you’re delegating. Are you asking your staff to take action, make decisions or find information?
- Manage your risk by ensuring the person you delegate to has the skill, time and resources to do the job well.
- Check in – more frequently at first, but always regularly.
- Help people solve their own problems so they can become more independent
- Take responsibility – after all it’s still your company
- Expect mistakes to happen, but ensure they are not insurmountable
When you cut a tree open you can see how it’s grown year after year. Some years more. Other years less.
Delegation is the same. Sometimes you can provide a lot of latitude, sometimes less. But each time you increase your ability to delegate well, and help others take on responsibility.
So now that there really are more hours in your day …
What will you do that’s juicy and rewarding? What have you been itching to do, pining for, and wishing about?
Having time to do what you what you want comes with letting go of what you don’t need. Work you don’t need to do. Decisions you don’t have to make. Actions you don’t have to plan.
What is it you do better than anyone else? What will you do now that you have a little more time? I’d love the hear what you do, and what you stopped doing.
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