Why Delegating is So Hard and So Necessary

If you are a business owner, chances are, you have done everything by yourself for many years. However, it gets to the point when you become so preoccupied doing everything yourself, that you lose sight of how to achieve or plan for even greater goals because you’ve simply run out of capacity.

Further, your daily tasks take you away from your unique talents, areas of work which you naturally excel at and are passionate about. These areas are typically the ones that you used at the beginning of your career. If you can get back to what you are most passionate about then you will naturally tap into the area of your vision that will financially grow your business.

When I delegate, nothing gets done right. Why is that?
Prepare to delegate. This should be taken seriously and not as an afterthought.

  • If you don’t take the time to explain the task and think it’s easier to just do it yourself, then you will always have too much work on your plate. Take the time upfront to explain what needs to get done and in the end you will free your time up. Research shows that employees become disengaged and unmotivated when managers don’t delegate effectively.
  • Understand that employees will make mistakes.
  • If you are a perfectionist. Be aware that you need to manage yourself first. It is rare that another person will do a task exactly the same way as you, but focus on the outcome and not always the process.

Does it take more time to delegate than to do it myself?
If you delegate and the work is not done correctly, ask yourself what kind of communicator you are. A great delegator has to be a great communicator and you need to know what to delegate.

  • Delegate the tasks you have to do all the time. If you understand them well and know what the outcome is, then it will be easy to communicate that to your employee.
  • Delegate a less-than-essential task that requires skills you don’t currently have. Learning new skills takes time, if your employee has the right skills to complete a task, then hand it over for them to do.
  • Delegate tasks that don’t have immediate deadlines. Researching materials for blogs, newsletters, interesting report that pertains to your business are all good examples.
  • Delegate a task to an employee who has shown a particular interest in it. If you have an employee that has a degree in a certain area or an expertise from past work experience, then give them an opportunity to show you their stuff (as long as it pertains to your business).
  • Delegate a task to an employee who needs to develop a skill in that area. If you have an employee who has lots of potential and want to grow in his/her career but is weak in an area, then delegate tasks that could help them to develop a new skill that will benefit them. (i.e. running a meeting, calling on customers, etc)

What is a delegation agenda and how will it help my business?
A weekly meeting on the same day each week where you go over the prior week’s delegation tasks and you get and give feedback from your employee. Use a delegation worksheet (below) and create a binder to put it in, so you can track weekly progress.

  • Write an agenda of all the tasks you want accomplished.
  • Set deadlines that you both agree upon for accomplishing tasks.
  • Explain what you want done, how you want it done and when you want it done.
  • If they need authority, give it to them and let the other employees know that he/she is responsible for the project and needs their cooperation.
  • If they need a budget to do a task, give them spending authority and all the other tools they may need to finish the job.

How do I get honest feedback from my employee(s) that they understand and can do what I am asking of them?
Weekly meetings, these meetings provide the time for your employee to work with you one-on-one to get questions answered and to receive positive feedback as to what is going well and what needs to be improved upon.

Delegation is about improving your work/life balance and developing employees. This is truly a win/win situation if done right.

We all need more work/life balance in our lives. Between managing a heavy workload, family life, exercise and other commitments most of us feel as if we are constantly rushing from one thing to the next. In a new book on time management called Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, Brigitte Schulte, a reporter for the Washington Post, writes about her struggles with being a good mother, a good wife and a reporter for the Washington Post. Schulte met with a Time Management Specialist to show her how to really see her busy schedule in a new light and to re-interpret her time running around with her kids as leisure time.

It’s an interesting approach, and it’s always interesting to see what happens when we think outside the box. But if you’re more of a pragmatic thinker, and you truly want to lower the stress in your life, then follow these 5 tips to lower stress and increase productivity with these 5 tips:

1. Schedule family time and make it sacred. If you are not able to spend enough time with those you love most during the week, then make it a priority by putting it on your calendar. This will give everyone something to look forward to, but most importantly, if you are committed to spending quality time with loved ones, remove distractions like cell phones and iPads so that you can all truly connect.

2. Say no! We often feel obligated to say YES to those things we really don’t want to do. When we say yes to every carpool or every meeting then we fill up our schedules with unnecessary commitments and this causes stress and resentment. So get comfortable with just saying NO.

3. Exercising will increase your energy, reduce your stress and charge up those positive endorphins. Exercising is as simple as going for a walk. A new study has shown that people who walk more are more productive. You may want to think about a walking meeting or stepping out of the office for a 30-minute break.

4. Schedule a Hard Stop – when we are at work, we often say, “I’ll leave really soon”, “I just have one more thing to do and then I’ll be done” and this can go on until 11 PM at night. A hard stop is a scheduled time that you determine to shut everything down and leave the office. If you honor your hard stop then you are giving yourself the gift of time.

5. Take breaks throughout the day. Research shows that if we don’t step away from our work and take real time away, then we risk burning out and that can also have a negative impact on our health. A recent article in the New York Times by Phyllis Korkki suggests that breaks are important to long-term health and improved productivity.

Work/Life balance is not always achievable but we can take steps to reduce our stress and improve our health with awareness and discipline.

by Stephanie Wachman on 06/09/11

The other day I had a dr. appointment and parked my car in a garage. When I got back, my car would not start. I began to panic. I had a lot of work to do and deadlines that needed to be met. I actually planned my work schedule for that day to the minute. It took an hour but finally they came to jump start my car. When that didn’t work, I had to wait another 90 minutes to get a tow truck. All the while, I kept hearing the ticking of the clock because I knew that none of my work was getting done.

As I sat outside the parking garage, I took a deep breath and thought about how there really is no such thing as a work/life balance. In day to day living there are challenges that can offset the balance no matter how well you plan. In order to achieve an attempt at balance we have to create an action plan that focuses on the controllable but accepts the uncontrollable. Sitting under a big tree I thought of three ways to achieve controlled imbalance.

First, is what I refer to as low hanging fruit; these are the easy to control time management tools. We all carry cell phones, iPads, laptops and smart phones. For most people they are always with them, literally in hand. I now refer to them as “binkies” my son used to have a binky that I could never pry from him and the way that we manage our cell phones today are not unlike a child’s binky. It’s time to take our personal time back by turning off our phones every day for 1-2 hours. Here are some suggestions: during dinner time, turn off your phone and put it in a drawer.  When in the car, turn it off and stick it in your glove box. This will not only make you a safer driver but will free up your mind for creative thinking.

Secondly, establish at least five goals. You want to think long term and ask yourself where I see myself in three years, one year and one month. Plan your goals around what is most important to you in your life, such as: family, health, friends, career and finances.

Thirdly, create a weekly and monthly action plan to use as a tool to achieve your goals. Refer to this plan often to keep you on track.

It’s very easy to get caught up with all the uncontrollable things that can happy at any time, but when we take daily ownership of our time, have a clear long and short term vision for ourselves and identify the actions it takes to achieve our goals, then we have control. The next times you find yourself standing in front on a stalled car with a To-Do list as long as an eighteen-wheeler; smile because at least now you understand that you have controlled imbalance.

by Stephanie Wachman on 09/13/11

Coaches are trained to listen for self-sabotage. Saboteurs are nasty little worms that we allow to get in our head and tell us what we can’t do or why we shouldn’t do something.
If we listen to the voice of our saboteur, we can never move forward and have new experiences and positive outcomes. Don’t let your saboteur be your business manager.

Listed below are a few ways we sabotage ourselves:

  1. Telling yourself you are not good enough.
  2. Not even trying to do something new.
  3. Calling yourself a failure.
  4. Giving up to soon.
  5. Blaming others for your problems.
  6. Acting like a child and pitying yourself.
  7. Always being in denial.
  8. Procrastinating on important issues.
  9. Judging others.
  10. Comparing you to other people.

To overcome the power of self-sabotage, think positive thoughts, believe in your own possibilities. Ask yourself is this my natural self-talking or the voice of my saboteur?

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