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Are you ready to start delegating?

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No matter what types of jobs you’ve held in the past, when starting your organizing business, you’ll often find yourself filling the roles of salesperson, customer service rep, webmaster, office manager, and many others. This is a fairly practical solution, as it’s hard to justify paying someone else to perform these functions when you have time, but not money, to spare.

Are you ready to start delegating?

Photo © Adam Borkowski / PhotoXpress

If all goes well, the day will come when you no longer have time to efficiently maintain all of these roles. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t prepare for this day, and as a result, they’re forced to work more and more hours as they continue juggling multiple roles.

You can avoid this situation by following a strategy described in Michael Gerber’s bestselling book, The E-Myth Revisited. Gerber suggests that you create an organizational chart for your business, identifying the various “positions” that you hold and writing a job descriptions for each one. By doing this right from the get-go, you’ll be all set when it’s time to start passing work on to employees or outside services, because you’ll be able to easily identify the jobs you can delegate. In addition, if you’ve already prepared formal job descriptions, the transition will be less disruptive and stressful than if it’s forced upon you when you’re overwhelmed and overworked. If you’re already at that point, there are some steps you can and must take now, if you don’t wish to jeopardize your physical and mental health.

Step One: Self-Assessment

Take time to identify how you are spending your working hours. You’ll probably find that most of your activities will fit into one of the following categories:

1. Key Tasks

Activities which contribute directly to your business goals are typically management functions and, as a business owner, these should be your biggest priority. Unfortunately, when you’re trying to do everything yourself, these tasks are often pushed aside so you can deal with day-to-day concerns.

2. Essential Tasks

You’re likely spending close to half of your time on meetings, phone calls, email, and other activities that are necessary, but not directly related to planning and managing your business. Delegating one or more of these routine tasks will free up time for your key tasks, and may even let you spend fewer hours working.

3. Useful Tasks

Tasks such as purging outdated material from your files should also be considered for delegation. These activities, although not critical to your business, will typically make your work environment more efficient and/or more pleasant in the long run.

Once you begin to track your activities, you may be amazed to discover how much time you waste on tasks that make no contribution to your business. Taking the time to identify these non-productive activities and to develop strategies to eliminate them will enable you to work more efficiently and give you time to organize your work in a way that you can delegate more easily.

Step Two: Planning

Review the essential and useful tasks you identified in Step One, and list those that you may be able to delegate. You may wish to start with those you dislike, those for which you lack skills, or those that will be least expensive for you to pay someone else to do. Once you’ve determined what will have the biggest impact on your time and stress management, you can begin to look at potential delegatees and any further steps that may be needed in order to transfer the work.

Step Three: Implementation

For many organizers, this step is even more challenging than Steps One and Two. When you’re used to doing everything yourself, it can be difficult to relinquish control. You may fear that no one will do things exactly the way you do.

For some, delegating for the first time can be as emotionally wrenching as a parent leaving a child with a sitter for the first time, but just as time away from you is essential to your child’s development, delegation is vital to the growth of your business. Once you accept this fact and begin to delegate, you will never look back. Many of my clients have expressed how liberated they felt after they started to use my services, and I had the same experience when I handed over my bookkeeping to a professional several years ago.

Still not ready? Learn more about delegation…

I was recently interviewed by Tracy K. Pierce about the Why, When, What, Whom and How of Delegation. If you didn’t get a chance to hear the live show, listen to the recording right here:

New Self Help Podcasts with International Life Coach Radio on BlogTalkRadio

If you’re still in doubt about the benefits of delegation, consider these words:

“Without delegation, small businesses remain small.”

Harold Taylor, Delegate: The Key to Successful Management

Get ready to delegate – get ready to grow!

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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