5 Tips for Delegating Like A Pro

By Jim Beqaj

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It’s a well-known fact that good delegating will increase productivity. But the problem is; how do you do it?

We’ve put together an extremely actionable list of the top 5 things that will help you delegate like a pro and get more done with your time.

You’ll learn how to get the most out of yourself, and the people you delegate to.

1. Have a Defined Goal in Mind

You need to know what the end goal is. If you don’t have a defined goal set, how do you know when you accomplish it? Break your goal down into small, simple, repeatable processes. This will help you know what things you should delegate, and which ones you should do yourself.

2. The Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that roughly 80% of your output is attributed to 20% of your input. This means that for the most part, 80% of a business’ revenue comes from 20% of their customers.

Understanding this principle is crucial for anyone in a leadership position. This means that (for the most part) 20% of your responsibilities are responsible for 80% of your results. The key to maximizing productivity is to focus on the critical 20%. Obviously, the other 80% is made up of things that still need to get done, making them a perfect option to delegate to others.

By delegating the less important tasks and putting more focus on the most important ones, you’ll have more time to devote to each task which will boost your performance. More time and better performance? That’s a pretty good deal.

Besides being extremely effective, this principle is also great for reducing stress and cleaning up your to-do list.

3. Categorize

If you’re following me, you’ll know by now that you need to have a clear goal in mind. You then need to dissect your responsibilities and pick out the most important 20% of your tasks that you will take care of yourself. The next step to delegating well is categorizing the remaining 80%.

For some people, categorizing is hard. They have a hard time differentiating between the important and not-so-important tasks. For more help on this topic, check out Laura Stack's tips on ruthless prioritization

Make categories for the tasks you’re going to delegate. This will make it easier for the people you’re going delegate to. Assign categories, not individual tasks. Completing 5 closely related tasks is a lot easier than 5 random ones.

Once you’ve categorized the tasks you can now assign them to whoever you think is best suited.

4. Educate

Once you’ve assigned the tasks to your people, it is vitally important that you train them on how to complete each task. You know the saying “if you want something done right do it yourself”? Well, it’s completely wrong. If you want something done right, teach others how to do it right.

In a recent study conducted by BambooHR, it was discovered that one of the most common reasons why people leave their jobs is not receiving enough instruction on how to complete their tasks. People often feel very anxious and apprehensive when taking on a new task, therefore, it is crucial that managers teach their team how to carry out each task they assign.

Teach your people how to accomplish the tasks you’ve given them, and show some confidence in them. People seem to get a whole lot smarter and more capable when you show confidence in them. So, teach them, and then trust them to execute.

5. Follow-up

Hopefully, you’ve done everything up until this point. If you have, you should have less stress and more time on your hands to focus on the truly important tasks. This last part of delegating is one of the most important ones. It’s critical that you follow-up with the people you have delegated to. If you don't follow-up with the tasks you have delegated, people will get accustomed to it and your assignments will lose importance in their minds. 

Keep your standards high, as high as if you were doing the task yourself. Follow-up with your people and make sure they completed each task to the standards you have set. Don’t compromise on quality.

If the quality isn’t up to standards, chances are there was a miscommunication while you were explaining the task. Make sure everything is clear and keep showing support. Eventually, they’ll get it right.

Remember, the key is to work smarter, not harder. By following these steps, you’ll be able to free up your time for the things that matter the most. The quality of your's and your team’s work will improve.

Bonus Tips:

Here are a few bonus tips that you can apply to the whole 5-step process. They are very simple and self-explanatory but go a long way when you apply them.

  • Don’t micromanage
  • Say thank you
  • Be patient
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