Ever feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending work loop, drowning in tasks, missing out on essential growth opportunities, or on the edge of losing your sanity over your leadership role? If so, it might just be time to consider a little work purge.
What do we mean by delegate or drop? It’s all about taking a long, hard look at your daily, weekly, or monthly routine and deciding what should be handed off to others and what should be gracefully dropped from your life. And if you’re at the point of stress and overwork, it means you probably should start delegating before you drop from exhaustion. 😟
Are you able to go on vacation without a pile of problems waiting to pounce on you when you return? Do you constantly need to check emails or texts when you are away? Now, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times from your boss, friends, partner, or peers whenever you mentioned how overworked you are – just delegate stuff!
It sounds like a simple solution, and it is a solution. However, it’s not simple, nor a quick and easy fix. Delegation requires a little mindset makeover, and we’re here to help you get there.
Why You Might Be Hesitant to Delegate
There are several reasons why you might be hesitant to delegate. It’s time to shine a light on those lurking doubts:
- Guilt – You fear overburdening others.
- Self-doubt – You’re worried you’ll seem like a slacker or you need to prove your expertise at some things to feed your self-confidence.
- Trust – You are doubtful if work will meet standards.
- Ego – You’re convinced you are the only one who can get it right. Perhaps you’ll delegate some trivial tasks.
- Martyr – You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders and feel you must sacrifice your time and well-being in the interests of others.
- Time – It seems daunting to figure out what to delegate, to whom, and how to train someone. Keeping things as they are seems to be the easier route.
Do any of these sound familiar? The thing is, these reasons are often more emotional than factual.
Fact or Emotions?
Let’s play a game of Fact ✅or Emotion 😨 . Look at the reasons, decide whether it is fact or emotion, then flip the card for the answer.
Fact or Emotion?
Guilt is your emotional reaction. You may assume people are busy; might they welcome a challenge? Are they productively busy? Check the facts.
Fact or Emotion?
Self-doubt is a realm of pure emotion. The truth is, you have no clue what others think about you, or if they even spend a fraction of their time thinking about you.
Fact or Emotion?
Worries about whether work will meet your standards stems from emotion. Are you certain it won’t be done correctly? What standards are you applying – yours or what’s genuinely required?
Fact or Emotion?
Ego is all in the realm of emotions! If you feel superior to your team, it’s time to take a hard look at your hiring, training methods, coaching, and performance management.
Fact or Emotion?
The emotional rollercoaster continues! While you might have a noble desire to shoulder the burdens of the world, no one will shower you with gratitude for it. Employees will appreciate you more when you invest your time in their growth and development.
Now, let’s move into the factual realm and explore some concrete benefits of delegation.
Benefits of Delegating
When you take the leap and embrace delegation, you open the door to a world of possibilities:
- Skills Expansion: Your employees gain the invaluable opportunity to acquire new skills. This isn’t just about acquiring technical know-how; it’s about personal growth. And guess what? Employees tend to respond to this opportunity with a burst of positive emotions – increased motivation, heightened job satisfaction, a boost in confidence, and deeper engagement.
- Empower Your Team: Your employees rely on you to steer the ship towards success. When you delegate, you free up your bandwidth to focus on activities that are vital for individual growth and team success. That means hiring the right talent, devising strategic plans, setting the course, addressing performance hiccups, and more.
- Reclaim Your Time: Delegating tasks that others are fully capable of handling allows you to retrieve precious time. It’s like decluttering your schedule. Suddenly, you can clearly see what truly demands your attention. This newfound clarity enables you to zero in on priorities and fulfill your commitments without being stretched thin.
- Leadership Evolution: As you shift your focus towards genuine leadership activities, you’re on the path to personal and professional growth. True leadership isn’t about doing everything yourself; it’s about orchestrating and inspiring. When you delegate, you evolve as a leader, honing your abilities to guide, motivate, and align your team towards success.
Why wait? Let’s get the work purge started!
Cleaning out Your Managerial Closet
Think of cleaning out your managerial responsibilities like tidying up your wardrobe. We’ve all been there – a closet full of clothes, some unworn for ages, others that don’t quite fit anymore.The logical next step? Give them away. Why? Because someone else might cherish those clothes or genuinely benefit from them.
But it’s not a small feat. Do you even have the time for it right now? When you keep postponing you end up spending more time each morning deciding what to wear, digging through clothes that no longer serve you, struggling to find anything in the cluttered chaos, clothes get wrinkled, some even fall off the hangers – it’s a mess.
However, once you set aside some time to start the purge, magic happens. Suddenly, everything in your closet holds value, and you’re greeted with an organized wardrobe where you can see your options for the day. The morning stress subsides, and you gain a sense of clarity and efficiency. And it’s not just you who benefits. Others get the chance to enjoy something new, exciting, and affordable to wear – it’s a win-win.
When you apply this to your workload, you’re not just cleaning out what no longer serves you; you’re replacing it with what holds real value. Someone else gets the chance to learn something new and thrilling. They become more engaged, feel like a true contributor, and build the skills necessary for career advancement.
Are you convinced of the benefits of delegation and you ready to dive into the ‘how to make it happen?’
How to Delegate Like a Pro
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of delegation, let’s set a few ground rules.
- Delegation isn’t a hasty process; it requires some thought and planning. Don’t go wild and start randomly assigning tasks; that’s a recipe for grumpy employees.
- Make sure not to delegate anything that’s squarely your responsibility – think confidential tasks, performance management, salaries, and the like.
- When it comes to time-sensitive tasks, proceed with caution. It’s perfectly okay to delegate them, as long as you give your team ample notice upfront.
Now, grab your trusty leadership notebook or journal – it’s a must-have for any self-development journey. I
Steps to Delegate
- Decide What and When: Start by pinpointing at least one task you can delegate right now. Then, sketch out a plan for a few more over the next week or month. Time to put your intentions into action.
- Determine Who: It might be tempting to dump everything on your superstar employee, but hold your horses. It’s wise to check in with them to gauge their interest in taking on something new but don’t assume that others aren’t willing and capable. Ask questions to uncover their desired opportunities and explain what’s in it for them. Variety can be enticing.
- Communicate Expectations: Understand the nature of the task you’re delegating and understand how your employees work and think. Some people thrive on clear, step-by-step instructions, while others appreciate the freedom to figure out the method on their own. Either way, ensure that they grasp the desired results.
- Provide Training, Tools, and Resources: Arm your team with the essentials they need to succeed. Whether it’s training sessions, handy tools, or access to vital resources, make sure they’re well-equipped for the job.
- Give Authority and Ownership: Success hinges on your employees’ ability to complete the task. Remove any obstacles that could hinder their progress and empower them with a sense of ownership over the assignment.
- Decide on follow-up. Do you need checkpoints along the way? Collaborate with your employee to determine the appropriate level of follow-up. You want to strike a balance between support and avoiding unnecessary micromanagement.
- Allow mistakes. Nobody hits the bullseye on their first try, and that includes you. Don’t expect your team members to be perfect from the get-go. Embrace imperfection and the growth that comes with it.
- Have patience. Skill development takes time. Just as it did for you, your team members need the space and time to perfect their newfound skills.
- Give feedback. Don’t forget to provide both positive and constructive feedback. Acknowledge their successes and guide them through areas where improvement is needed. Effective feedback is a gift that encourages growth.
That’s a wrap on delegation! With these steps, you’re well on your way to empowering your team and lightening your managerial load.
But wait, the journey isn’t over yet. Next, we’ll explore what may be better to drop.
Expanding Your Work Purge: What to Drop
Dropping tasks from your to-do list is like cleaning that expired salad dressing and those moldy containers out of your fridge. Nobody benefits from handing those off.
Review your task list, including what you plan to delegate, and consider what can be dropped. Say goodbye to:
- Outdated procedures. One red flag signaling the need to drop something is “I’ve always done it that way.” We often don’t question why we do things a certain way and keep plodding along using old processes. Make sure your change management is effective and drop the outdated stuff and bring on the new.
- Micromanagement: It’s time to bid farewell to the habit of breathing down your team’s necks. Trust your employees to carry out their tasks without constant supervision. Give them room to excel and grow.
- Perfectionism: Understand that not everything needs to be flawless. Learn to distinguish between tasks that require meticulous attention and those where ‘good enough’ is truly sufficient.
- Inefficient Meetings: Drop unnecessary meetings that eat up your time and your team’s.
- Endless Research and Analytics: While staying informed is crucial, you don’t need to absorb every detail of information on every subject. Rather, know how to access sources when necessary.
If you’re wondering if something’s worth keeping, ask yourself: What’s the downside if I drop it? Weigh the impact against the time saved.
Now that you’re convinced of the power of delegation and dropping, you’re ready to take charge of your managerial destiny. Good luck, and here’s to a balanced, stress-free work life! Cheers! 🥂
Use these questions as a starting point for self-reflection and personal growth as you embark on your journey to improve delegation and achieve a more balanced and fulfilling work life.
Am I overloaded with tasks? Am I juggling too many responsibilities?
What are my personal barriers to delegation? Are they based on fact or emotion?
Where can I empower my team more? What can I delegate right now?
What outdated procedures or tasks should I drop?
How will I evolve as a leader by embracing delegation?
Share your thoughts on delegating and please comment and share the post if you found it helpful!