One of the ways we can stay overwhelmed is when we try to keep doing everything ourselves. Even if some tasks only take you a few minutes, those minutes add up! And even if you CAN do something, it doesn’t mean that it NEEDS to be you doing it. When you get clear on what you are really good at doing and enjoy doing as well as how you want to spend your time each week, you are ready to think strategically about delegating well. Some of those activities that you are not good at doing nor find enjoyable may be things that someone else would love to do! Join me this week as I give you five steps to delegating well.
The first step toward delegation is to really consider what you are spending your time doing. I am currently in the process of re-evaluating my time and effort so that I can more realistically consider what I need to be doing, not doing and delegating. Schedule time on your calendar to review your calendar, planner, to-do lists and consider where you are spending your time. Remember to include all aspects of your life in this reflection. Consider both personal and professional activities in your reflection. If you are working with a coalition team, have each person on the team take time to reflect and consider how they are spending their time. Although you may have people volunteering to help you, if you are not clear on what you are doing and where you need support, it is really difficult to delegate.
Determine if it needs to be done at all. Before you begin delegating, consider what you are doing and why you are doing it. Spend time individually reviewing your activities as well as with your coalition team. Do all of these activities support your individual goals and priorities? Do these activities support the purpose of the coalition right now? When considering personal-related activities, consider which activities align with what is most important to you. If you have other people in your household, discuss the activities with them as well. If you are doing something just because it has always been done but does not clearly align with your current purpose and priorities, this may be something that can be eliminated altogether. Alternatively, you may realize that some members of your team are overloaded while other members have capacity to do more.
As you reflect on your activities individually and collectively, consider which ones you particularly enjoy and are good at doing. When each member of the team (and household) spends time reflecting on these types of activities, you can better refine your lists. This will help you recognize which activities are best delegated within your team as well as those activities that may need to be delegated outside your team.
Consider possible people, organizations or coalitions that may be the right fit for some of these activities that can be delegated. You may have people within your team or you may need to find a contractor, student or other volunteer to do some of these activities. Some of these activities may be able to be “delegated” to technology in a more automated way. Discuss the activities, plan for delegating and consider what is needed to delegate. Once you have identified the right people (or technologies), spend time with them to see what is needed to delegate well.
Although you may want to give the activity away today, you will need to spend time directing, coaching and supporting people on the delegated activities. One of my favorite leadership models is Situational LeadershipⓇ. Using this model, you can know when you are ready to delegate an activity to someone based on their readiness and ability to do the activity. Even when you have completely delegated an activity, you still need to check-in and communicate.
One of the reasons we struggle with delegating is that we move too quickly to delegating. When we have not spent time training, coaching and supporting someone enough to be ready for delegation, everyone can become frustrated and confused. Then, we try to “take back” the activity and stay overwhelmed. We must practice delegating. Before we delegate, we have to spend time training, coaching and supporting.
So what about you? What is your next step in the delegating process?
If you would like more support in this and other practical actions to Escape the Overwhelm, check out my Masterclass Recording!