You’re overwhelmed and there are a million things on your to-do list. And if you don’t get it done, it won’t get done. But there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything checked off.
It’s time to start delegating.
If you haven’t realized that you’re doing things that you don’t need to do yourself, then it’s going to be hard for you to let go of these tasks and delegate them to someone else.
So, how do you stop doing everything yourself so that you can free up your time to focus on the bigger picture and growing your business (or maybe take that vacation you’ve been putting off for 5 years)?
Step 1: Admit you have a problem
You can’t do it all, trust me. I know you think you can, but it’s just not humanly possible. In order to start delegating you have to acknowledge that you need help. You have to realize that you can’t do everything on your own if you ever want to sleep peacefully at night or see your friends and family.
Step 2: Make a list of everything you do
What does a typical work day look like? What are the tasks that have to be completed to deliver a project successfully? From the minute a potential client contacts you to the moment you’ve executed and received payment, think about (and document) every step.
Step 3: Identify things that only you can do
Once you’ve made this list check the things that can only be done with your level of expertise, things that need a special detail only you can do. You’d be surprised to see how many things you’re doing that you don’t necessary need to do: scheduling meetings, requesting quotes from other vendors, or even sending out your rate guide. Your time is important and you can’t find time to connect with potential clients, readjust your marketing strategy or fine tune your business model if you’re handling all these little tasks.
Step 4: Prioritize what must get done
Time management is key. What are the things that must absolutely get done today? Identify the difference between urgent and important. Try to structure your week and days with goals in mind. Divide your list into easy tasks and difficult tasks. I’m a morning person so I like to tackle the tasks that require more thought processing or problem-solving earlier in the morning. After I’ve completed 1 or 2 difficult tasks, I like to switch to easy tasks to keep the momentum going. Spending a whole day problem-solving can feel very exhausting and if you don’t reshuffle your time and energy you can easily reach the end of the day having not successfully completed anything.
Step 5: Overcommunicate
When delegating it’s never a bad thing to give more information. It’s important to give direction, especially if there are particular ways that you want things to be done. In the beginning, it might be time-consuming, but as you and your team work together you’ll learn and develop processes that can eventually be streamlined.
Step 6: Empower and Trust people
I think that this can be one of the hardest steps, but most crucial. You have to trust that your tasks will be completed. And if people make mistakes in the beginning, be okay with it because stuff happens. Set realistic expectations. Commend them for the little wins as well as the big ones. Let them see your bigger picture and vision so that they can understand how the work that they do impacts those exciting dreams of yours.