Delegate or Die – Where to Start

Entrepreneurs often spend their time doing a million and one things that happened to end up on their plate. You’ve done it before, you know how you want it done, and it’s faster than showing someone else how to do it. And yet, just working through whatever’s on your plate doesn’t feel like it’s moving the needle. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to start delegating.

Why you should delegate

If you keep doing everything yourself, you’ll spend all of your time working IN your business, and not nearly enough time working ON your business. You are the bottleneck for too many processes, and chances are, this will end up slowing you down.

Or, you know… tripping you up.

By delegating tasks and responsibilities, you free up time for work that is less urgent, but more important in the long run. You will also empower your employees by pushing responsibility to more parts of the organization. This will result in a more robust business that has more room to grow.

What to delegate

So how do you decide what to delegate?

In Get A Grip, Gino Wickman describes a simple, four-step process for figuring out what tasks and responsibilities you should delegate.

Step 1 – Decide what “full-time” means

It doesn’t really matter if you work 40 hours or 60 (or more), as long as it’s a conscious choice. Deciding what full-time means to you creates an upper boundary for how much time your work is allowed to take. Anything more, and you know you need to delegate.

Step 2 – List everything you do

Make a list of all the things you do in a typical week, along with a rough estimate of how long they take. Be as thorough as possible.

Step 3 – Place your tasks in the delegation tool

The tool consists of four quadrants

  1. Love/great: This are the things you love doing, and you’re great at doing them. This is your sweet spot, where you have the highest impact.
  2. Like/good: This are the things you like doing, and you’re good at doing them. While not as energizing as the activities in the previous quadrant, these activities are still a good fit for you.
  3. Don’t like/good: These are the things you do not like to do, but you’re still good at them. Entrepreneurs usually have a lot of these, because some things simply need to get done and there’s no-one else to do it
  4. Don’t like/not good: These are the things you dislike doing, and that you’re not good at. You really shouldn’t be doing these yourself, and you probably know it.

Step 4 – Delegate

With the tool filled in you can now start delegating tasks and responsibilities. Start with quadrant 4, and hand over these activities to people that are better suited to them. If you’re still over capacity, continue with the activities in quadrant 3.

By freeing up your schedule, you can focus more on the things that you are good at and that you love doing. In doing so, you’ll have a bigger, more positive impact on the trajectory of your business.

Next time, we’ll dive deeper into best practices for making the actual delegation as effective as possible.

(Cover photo by Vladimir Patkachakov on Unsplash)

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