You can’t do everything yourself. And the bigger your business grows, the truer this becomes. That’s why it’s so essential to master the art of delegation. Delegating the day-to-day work of your business frees you up to think big, cultivate relationships with clients, nail down new sources of revenue, and do the things that only you can do.
Set your ego aside. A big mental roadblock to delegation is that “If you want something done right, then do it yourself.” You’re not the only person in the world who can do it right. You may be the only person who can do it right at this very moment, but if you take a few minutes to download your needs to someone competent, they’ll probably be able to do it right, too. Who knows – they might even do it faster or better than you (gasp!)
We all know that we need to be good at delegating in order to have any traction in our careers. We need to be able to learn how to do something and then teach someone else how to do it, so that we can move on and learn how to do something new. This is as true for creative people as it is for management types.
Yet even though we know this, most of us have trouble actually doing it. Many people think they’re the exception to the rule — that delegating is important, but in their very unique, particular case, it’s impossible.
Newsflash: It’s never impossible to delegate — it’s all in the mind of the delegator. Here are some ways to get started on the road to all-star delegation:
Get over your perfectionist streak. The key to delegating is recognizing that your ability to do things perfectly isn’t as highly valued as you think it is. In fact, perfectionism isn’t valuable in 80 percent of the work we do. If you think you’re the exception to this rule — which all perfectionists do — consider that perfectionism is so unhealthy that it’s a risk factor for depression. This should make delegating come easier. Delegating can be scary, especially if you are a perfectionist. Here are some tools to help you in the art of delegation.
Use Google Docs. It’s a great tool to record and share information about your procedures, because you don’t need to worry if your team members have the latest version. It updates real-time.
These days, we at Balance InStyle use project management software called Basecamp (you might also use Asana, Wrike or any other software you find helpful) Basecamp makes it easy for people in different roles with different responsibilities to communicate and work together. It’s a place to where my team share files, have discussions, collaborate on documents, assign tasks, and check due dates.
Another great tool to help you effectively delegate is LastPass. It remembers your passwords and helps your employees do more of what they were hired to do.
Decide what’s most important. In order to figure out what to delegate, you need to figure out what’s most important to your career. This means you need to know what your specialty is, what you’re known for, and what your unique value is to the company. Anything that falls outside this isn’t that important to you. Once you understand this, delegating most things will be easier.
Trying putting together a mind map (in a Mindmup ) all of the things that are important for your career and where you can start to leverage help, maybe in the form of a VPA. (Virtual Personal Assistant).
Here are the Top Tasks You Can Delegate To Your VPA today:
Calendar – Setup a shared calendar and let your VPA manage, schedule, and arrange your calendar. Allow your VPA to handle the back-and-forth of setting up appointments. Most use Google calendar which is great because when your VPA confirms a meeting it will sync directly to your mobile device.
Email – It is a time waster. Allow your VPA to filter out the small stuff, and prioritize inquiries so that you only see the ones that need your attention. You can also setup a personal email account for them on your business domain so it appears that they are in-house.
Track Projects – Managing projects, deadlines, and deliverables can be tough when you are busy. Setup a common project platform so that you can share project status updates. We use Basecamp to manage projects, and it too syncs directly to my iPhone so another time saver, I can track on the go!
Invoicing – Invoicing is an important task that many small businesses put off, yet it it crucial to operations. Let your VPA send, track, and receive your business invoices. This is particularly useful for small businesses or entrepreneurs. Let them manage your AR and call clients on your behalf as well, that way you don’t feel like you are hounding the clients.
Research – Searching the web may seem like a simple and quick task. However, it can be a major time sink when your quick search turns into a multi-hour surfing session. Let you VPA do simple research for you.
Expense Reports – Another paperwork project to delegate to your VPA is expense tracking. It seems to be a generally hated task by all business people. Let your VPA organize your expenses and receipts. It is easy to share receipt images and documents via Dropbox or an expense app or even Basecamp.
Travel – People don’t like to give up control of travel. But, how long do you waste looking at flights to get just the right one? Let your VPA book your travel and use a system such as TripIt or Trip Case to sync your itinerary to your mobile device and calendars.
Proofreading – It doesn’t matter how many times you proofread that presentation; you are still going to overlook the typo. Let your VPA be a second set of eyes on all types of documents. Maybe you’ve run out of time of creative juices; let your VPA explore other options to your creative writing block.
If you want more time for yourself, maybe it’s time you explore the art of delegation and hire a VPA of your own. Remember: reluctance to give up control of tasks is probably a sign that you need some assistance. In many cases, a VPA can perform your administrative tasks faster, better, and more effectively than you can.