with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
Image by Choconancy1 via Flickr
I used to fear delegating tasks to others, even trusted staff. As a Type-A, over-achieving, perfectionist type, I just couldn’t imagine anyone else would care as much about a task, much less a job or client, as I did.
I made the terrible mistake of micromanaging - and even (GASP! HORRORS!) re-doing work that I had assigned to staff. I know I was a nightmare to work for back then.
These days, I’m absolutely desperate to delegate, however, now I just find it really difficult to take the knowledge and information that is packed tightly in my overfilled brain and actually impart it to someone else in a way that makes sense.
Here are some things I’ve learned - and am still learning - about the Fine Art of Delegating.
Delegating Tips for Task Hoarders
1. Create Delegation Affirmations. Okay, I know this might sound hokey, but you really need to get into a different mindset to be at peace with delegating. Jot down some positive messages about delegating that can help you remember why you need to do it in the first place such as “Turn Over Tasks Makes Time For Big Thinking” or “The More You Let Go, The More That Will Come Your Way” or even “Give It Up and Get Back Time.”
2. Start a Task Manual. There are tasks that you probably do every single day and are like breathing to you - totally second nature. Start a document (I put this on Google Docs) and commit to making notes on these tasks each week. Also ask anyone who has completed tasks for your company to add to the manual. Eventually, you will have a detailed document about not only how to implement tasks but how to do them the way you want them done.
3. Use a Time-Tracker. If you are paying someone by the hour to do work, set up a time tracker that both of you can access. This gives you the ability to check in without having to pester them about the time they’ve put into a task or project and gives them a more formalized sense of accounting for their time. Freshbooks has a time-tracker built in as well as a desktop widget that can assign time spent to a client’s invoice. Or check out TrackMyPeople which does just that - time tracking - or Tempo.
4. Schedule Check-Ins. Even if you don’t have staff, you still need regular check-ins to see where everybody is on their tasks. While you can use a project management tool that tracks task completion, there is nothing like a meeting over coffee or a quick conference call to make sure everyone is on the same page.
5. Praise First, Then Point Out. No matter how much you want to jump on a mistake or a missed deadline, find something positive to say first before moving on to the harder stuff. Freaking out will not do anybody any good. But being firm is also important. If errors or delays are jeopardizing a project, people must be held accountable.
What other ways have you learned to better delegate tasks to others? What online tools are you using to help?
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