Step 1: Put Yourself in a Position to Delegate
Delegation is when you assign responsibility to another person to carry out a specific task . The task could be large (such as “revamp our training department” or small (such as “take this letter to the post office”). It doesn’t matter how large or small the task is. What matters is that there is another person that you can delegate the task to.
You don’t have to have an empire of people around you that serve as your minions. Rather, you do need to put yourself in an organizational position that there are good people to whom you can delegate responsibility. These people could report to you directly. Or, there may be a group of people that are in a support capacity in the company that you could rely upon. Regardless, you need to be in a position to delegate tasks to others, if you want to get more done than you have hours avail-able in the day.
Step 2: Get Ready Mentally
The second step is to make sure you have mentally accepted the fact that you need to delegate to others. You may be hesitant to delegate to other people for a number of reasons.
You may fall into the trap of feeling that it will be faster to get something done yourself rather than having to explain it to others. Or, you may feel as if the other person already has enough to do and you don’t want to add more to their plate. You need to move beyond this type of thinking in order to effectively delegate your tasks.
You will never be able to grow as a project manager if you feel that an-other person can’t do something as fast or as proficiently as you. Sure, the first couple of times may be a bit rough, but you will be surprised how much easier things become. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised when you find they can do something even better than you!
Step 3: Create Your “To-Do List”
Your next step is to put your “To-Do” list together. Take some time to do this right. One of the best ways to do this is to clear your desk and pull out your favorite pen and pad of paper. Start thinking about all the things that you need to get done.
This doesn’t have to be in any particular order. Include those tasks that are related to projects (such as updating a status report) to everything else (such as completing your open enrollment insurance form). Let everything come out on this piece of paper. You can include personal, professional, or other obligations and commitments you have. You’ll start to feel better as you begin to size up how many things are weighting you down.
Step 4: Cull Your List
You are going to have a sizable list. You will be amazed at how much ‘stuff’ you have on your plate to accomplish. Some of these things are extremely important and others now appear to be just a waste of time.
Go through this list and delete as many items as possible. There may be items on your list that are MONTHS old that you’ve been carrying in your head for that entire time. Get rid of it. There may be items that you at one time thought were important but now they just seem trivial. Cross them out! You are now left with a purged and manageable list that you can delegate to others. Narrow your delegation list down even further by removing those items that ONLY you can do.
Step 5: Begin Delegating
Take this relevant and meaningful list of tasks and meet with those who are on your team. Let them know the process you’ve just been through and the fact that you need their help. You need to focus on tasks that are in your area of expertise – where you can make the biggest difference for the entire team. You can then divvy up what is left on your list and spread it out amongst the team.
Your team will appreciate your request for help and that these tasks really are important to get done quickly.