Delegation is an important part of time management. There is only so much work one person can do. You don't want to be spending time on low value tasks at the expense of high value tasks.
Plus, delegating tasks gives you the opportunity to give additional responsibility to your team members and build their skills. Of course not every task you offload will be challenging and meaningful - some of them will be routine and boring - but that is true for every role.
Which tasks should I delegate?
- It doesn't matter who completes the task.
- The task provides an opportunity to grow and develop someone else’s skills.
- The task is likely to occur again in the future.
- There is enough time to delegate the job effectively, taking into account possible training, coaching, monitoring etc.
Don't delegate if:
- It's critical that you do the task yourself.
- The task is unlikely to occur again, and it's going to take longer to train someone to complete the task than completing it yourself.
Delegating a task
Delegation is about clear communication. If you have determined that a task is OK to delegate, follow these steps...
- Clarify the task - Explain what the task is.
- Clarify the required outcome - Explain the outcome that you are looking for in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness (i.e. what does success look like?).
- Clarify the constraints - Explain the constraints that the team member has to work within (i.e. limited resources).
- Clarify the level of autonomy - Explain the level of freedom the team member has to get the work done in their own way (i.e. do they need to complete the task in a very specific way, or can they take their own approach to reaching the outcome?).