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How To Be A Better Delegator

Riddle us this: Have you ever sacrificed sleep to get more things done? Ever been deafened by a cacophony of ‘pings,’ ‘dings’ and buzzes from your phone, tablet, computer – and more? Have you ever found yourself adrift in a sea of paperwork and to-dos?

Come on, now. If you’re here, you already know you’re in the Trust Tree with us. This is a safe space – and we wouldn’t ever judge you.

Know why?

Because we have all been you, the jack-of-all-trades, wearing all the hats and spinning all the plates – and with limited time, energy and resources to get everything done.

And when we say we’ve ‘all’ been there, we mean it. Because from Fortune 500 CEOs to solopreneurs, delegation is a learned skill. We’ve all reasoned with ourselves that while we should wait until someone else is able to complete the tasks exactly as we would, we don’t. 

‘I’ll just do it myself,’ you mutter defeatedly. 

Sound familiar?

No worries. We’ve got you covered. Because once you’ve resolved to be a better communicator and how to be more productive, it’s time to learn how to be a better delegator.

And we swear it’s not hard. But because it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to most people, it can feel awkward. Unnatural, even. But listen and listen well – we promise that, too, shall pass.


How To Be A Better Delegator In Four Steps. Seriously.

Step One: The Confession

Admit you have a problem. Seriously. Not delegating is – repeat after us – a problem.

Step Two: The Question

Smart – and efficient – leaders adopt the 70 percent rule.

Simply put, the 70 percent rule says that if the person you’d like to perform the task can do it at least 70 percent as well as you can, you should delegate it.

Sure, it will prove difficult to accept that the task won't be done exactly as you would do it and with the same degree of – perceived – perfection. But you know what it will be? DONE. And sometimes, that’s really what matters most.

And after you’ve asked yourself, ‘Can this person do this task 70 percent as well as I could?’ you’re ready to determine what, exactly, you should delegate. Here are six common classifications of highly delegate-able items:

Tiny. These are small, seemingly inconsequential tasks that are easy to put off – but add up. They aren’t important or urgent, and often only take a few minutes.

Tedious. Tedious tasks – like repetitive data entry – are relatively simple but not the best use of your time.

Time-Consuming. Time-consuming tasks are often important and complex but you could delegate 80 percent of the research and execution and then assume the final 20 percent for approval.

Teachable. These tasks may seem difficult but can be delegated once you’ve taught the basics, while you again reserve your 20 percent for approval. 

Terrible At. Know your weaknesses – and delegate them. The devil’s in the details so delegate to someone who will delight in the devil of your details. 

Time-Sensitive. Delegate time-sensitive tasks so you can focus on project-based deadlines. 

Step Three: The Approach

Just take it from Holiday Miller, a Client Success Consultant for BELAY, who knows a thing – or million – about how to be aces at delegation. Her suggestions?

Be willing to teach. And be prepared to invest time for proper onboarding and training. Short-term? More work. Long-term? Smooth sailing. This is your ‘teach a man to fish’ step. See the ‘teachable’ items above. No coincidence.

Communicate. Sound familiar? When in doubt, over-communicate. More is more when it comes to establishing clarity, expectations and directions. 

Have a plan. This is where a project management system like Asana would work wonders for you.
Never wonder again about the status of anything. It’s all there for your review – and peace of mind.

Shift your mindset. Consider delegation an opportunity to empower and lead others to grow. And – BONUS! – it gives you the opportunity to grow yourself and your business, too. Win-win!

Step Four: The Release

If you’ve successfully navigated the first three steps – congratulations! That was the easy part. This last step is essential, but also the most challenging: Let go

From this point on, it’s imperative to have faith in your delegation process and people. And while it may be hard to let someone else take the reins, you’re so ready to delegate effectively and successfully. 


Ready to let someone help you shoulder your load by being a better delegator? Then check out this Delegation Matrix to show you how you can get 15 hours of your week back by delegating just five tasks today!