02.02.20

If you are not delegating, you’re missing an opportunity to improve your quality of life.

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC
Photo by Shutterstock

Jessica Jackley is best known for co-founding Kiva and later ProFounder, two organizations that help individuals loan small amounts of money—called micro-loans—to entrepreneurs throughout the world. Jackley attributes part of her success as an entrepreneur in her ability to prioritize and delegate.”

“As all entrepreneurs know, you live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay, or skip the rest.”

You’ve no doubt, heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” That adage applies to how you might delegate tasks in your business or professional life. While it can be hard to relinquish control of some functions in your business for various reasons, there comes a time when you have to offload so you can stay focused on growth or jeopardize your success and achievement of your goals. You can’t do it all.

While the specifics vary according to the organization, there are a few general areas in which most business builders could benefit from shifting activities to other parties:

1. Start with your digital assets.

In its annual survey, Adobe found that people, on average, spend more than five hours per day checking their email. That’s more than half a typical workday. Yowsa! Find better and smarter ways to manage the demands on your time and energy and better filter your inbox management.

Social media management can also demand a great deal of time, especially when there are multiple channels to monitor. If you’re at the executive level and handling reputation management, you might rethink your priorities. An outsourced firm or part-time contractor can help do the heavy lifting on the day-to-day tasks with ease.

2. Check-in with employees on how to improve workflow.

Are you the source of delays in workflow? Ask your employees and encourage them to be candid. Do they experience lags in productivity because you’re preoccupied with the minutiae? Are they waiting on you for the green light on projects more often than not? Those delays are usually because you don’t have the time, the bandwidth, or the desire to do those things — another sign you need to transition such responsibilities.

3. Look for inconsistencies in your rhythm and energy.

Last, take stock of things you’re pushing off until the very end of the day. What are the tasks you’re scrambling to complete when you’d instead call it a day? Those are precisely the things you need to consider offloading for everyone’s sake.

As you’re going through your day, make yourself aware of the tasks that are time sucks or sources of anguish. Talk to your team and see how you might be able to focus on the tasks you enjoy and fit into your schedule. That’s the recipe for a happy and productive workday.

What tasks do you delegate, and how has it improved your productivity and overall job satisfaction? It is not too late for New Year’s resolutions and behavioral changes, what one change could you make that would increase your energy and foster greater business discipline for you in 2020?

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