Know When to Delegate

Businesses are organized into teams for a reason: the job is too large and too complex for one person to complete on their own. However, time and time again managers feel the need to try and do everything themselves. Delegating is a critical part of becoming efficient at work, but many people still feel uncomfortable doing it. Managers feel like they are the only ones competent enough to do the job right or they think their employees will be angry if they ask them to help out. No matter the reason, managers who don’t delegate risk ending up with too much work, not enough time, and a tremendous amount of stress. Consider these tips for knowing when and how to delegate.


Have You Reached Your Limit?

You have been at work for about an hour and you have already been inundated with emails and phone calls that need responding. Your employee needs help with a task so they come to you. Meanwhile, you are making final edits to a presentation that you are preparing for right after lunch today. You suddenly feel tension rising up in your chest and your brain feels like it might explode. This is a time when you need to remind yourself that you are not flying solo and you have a team of employees for a reason.  


Do You Have the Time?

Consider how much time it will take to delegate the task. Is is something that is fairly simple and can be explained quickly or would it take more time to explain than it’s worth? Is the task something that you need to have completed right away? If so, you might not have enough time to provide sufficient instructions and make necessary corrections. Oftentimes, the best tasks to delegate are those for which your employees have a strong knowledge of and could complete in a timely manner.


How Critical is the Project?

Is the work critical to the success of the project or organization? Critical tasks that have little room for error are oftentimes better done yourself. It is typically better to delegate lower level work so you can make time to complete the critical work yourself.


Tiny Tasks Can Add Up

Think about all of those small insignificant tasks that take up time in your day such as registering for a conference, booking hotels and flights, putting things in the calendar, and scheduling meetings. Each of these tasks alone might not take up a lot of time but when you add them all up it can be very time consuming. These are perfect tasks to delegate, as they free up your time for more significant tasks.


Tedious Tasks Take Up Too Much Time

There are plenty of those tedious tasks that take up a great deal of time in your day and should be passed on to someone else. For example, inputting lists onto spreadsheets or color-coding information in a training manual is probably not worth your time. You can make better use of your time by delegating these tedious tasks.


There will come a point when every manager feels overwhelmed with their work-load. This is the time to sit back and figure out which tasks can be delegated, and any task that can be delegated should be. It’s a win-win for everyone because you will free up time for more important tasks and your employees will feel like you trust them to help out.