Delegation as a time management tool

Delegating is one of the easiest methods for “creating” more time. By removing certain responsibilities from your shoulders, you have more time to focus on higher priorities.

Delegating involves much more than simply handing over responsibility. Delegation requires systems and training if it is to be effective.

Many owners fret that others don’t or won’t do things “their” way. They believe that employees should know how to do a task properly, and scratch their heads in dismay when employees don’t. Often, the owner will conclude that if he wants it done right, he’s going to have to do it.

There is often more than one way to accomplish a task. The owner may be correct that his way is the best way, but it is seldom the only way. He can easily fall into the trap of micro-managing if he seeks to control every step of every task.

Micro-managing is incredibly time consuming and it defeats the purpose of delegation. Every business should have procedures—that is, step-by-step instructions for each task. However, employees should also have the flexibility to modify those steps when conditions warrant.

The owner should express the desired results, the preferred method for achieving those results, and then allow the employee to act according to his best judgment. At the same time, the employee should be held accountable for the results. As long as he accomplishes the desired results, the precise steps he takes should be of primary concern to the business owner.

Delegation can be a great tool for time management. However, like any tool it must be used properly.

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