Looking for the Missing Key to Your Productivity Struggles? The answer has more to do with your ability to delegate than it does with your time management.
Whether you work from home, you drive to-and-from the office, or you work remotely between vacation destinations and flexible coworking spaces, one thing is absolutely certain: your productivity and efficiency are direct reflections of your ability (or lack thereof) to delegate.
No one likes to be micromanaged, and you certainly don’t want your significant other or your children to feel like unpaid employees, so how do you successfully delegate to others to maximize your time and do what you do best? Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading to be more like the World’s Best Boss/Wife/Friend/Mom and less like Miranda Priestly.
Start With Knowing What to Delegate
Start with answering these questions:
Find the commonalities between your answers—those are the tasks you should hold onto while delegating everything else (that you can anyway). Add to your list any tasks that must be handled by you –like client meetings or performance reviews— and align the remaining tasks based on the strengths and goals of your employees, household members, and support system.
Determine Who to Delegate To
Whether you’re assessing an employee’s strengths and goals or those of your children, making a connection between their skill set and their wants will result in more successful delegation and task completion.
Take for example your child’s desire to earn an allowance, but their limited ability to help with certain chores. Align household chores to their skill set and goals to give them autonomy and build their self-worth. Maybe they can’t unload the dishwasher, pivot that desire into something they can do like setting & clearing the table.
And when there’s no skill set or goal to be aligned, consider the cost of outsourcing those tasks to specialized providers. Often the financial cost can be recovered quickly by your newfound time freedom, and you can take ownership of these tasks back on if and when you feel the desire (and possess the skill set) to do so –e.g. meal planning and preparation, social media management, housekeeping, billing and bookkeeping, etc.
Delegate, Don’t Micromanage
In order to ensure you are delegating and not micromanaging, it’s paramount that you provide your team and support system with the resources, guidance, and authority to complete the tasks you’ve given them.
Setting someone up for an impossible task will frustrate both sides (which is why you need to determine what you can delegate and choose wisely in who you delegate to); the desired outcome won’t be accomplished, and you’ll likely end up with the same task(s) back on your to-do list. And, according to Harvard Business School:
This is also where you need to fight the urge to micromanage. Telling your team or partner, step-by-step, how you would accomplish the task and then controlling each part of the process you’ve delegated won’t enable them to learn or gain new skills. Focus instead on what the desired end goal is, why the task is important, and help address any gaps between the outcome and their current skill set.
Many of us are resistant to delegating work, whether at home or in the board room, but continuing to take on every task as our own will ultimately lead to burnout, inefficiency, and missed opportunities for our team and our family to learn and grow. Equip your support system with the tools, feedback, and guidance they need to be successful and invest in the areas you already shine.