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Getting It Done Through Delegation

It's just easier to do it myself. If I only had a dollar for every time I've heard those words. I know many people think it's easier to just do everything themselves. Unfortunately, you can't do everything yourself and give everything 100%. When you're trying to achieve something important, you must concentrate on that vital goal and let go a bit when it comes to other less important things.

Delegation does not mean that you take something that you absolutely hate to do, dump it on someone else's shoulders and rid yourself of all responsibility. It simply means that you give someone else a task that you don't have time to do, you train the person how to do it, and you follow up to ensure it is being done correctly.

Why delegate

Delegation is a great way to train someone how to complete a particular task or project. Next time a similar job comes along, you'll have someone trained and experienced enough to handle it for you independently with little direction needed.

If you don't have a staff, there are plenty of companies and individuals that you may be able to outsource to.

Selecting the right person

Select the appropriate person to whom the assignment will be given. Ensure that person has the time, tools, and the skills to do what you need done correctly and in a timely manner.

Never give a person a task that you're unfamiliar with. Always start by formulating the big picture first, then by making a list of the things that need to be done.

Assigning the task

Make sure the person is clear on the aspects of the assignment, including desired results, time frames, and how you'll be tracking their progress. Encourage questions now and in the future.

Set realistic deadlines. Ask people to complete things a few days before you really need them. This cushion will allow for unexpected last minute problems.

Ask for feedback to ensure the person understands the assignment and is able to complete it by the deadline.

Offer help as needed

Give support and direction throughout the projects as needed, but don't fall into the trap of doing the work.

Answer questions in a timely manner so the person can complete what they have to do, in the timeframe that you expect. Regularly review and evaluate results. Let everyone know how often you will be doing so. Remind others when deadlines are coming up. You're not being a pest. You just want to ensure the deadline is met.

Outsourcing is an option

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Outsource for business and personal reasons. You can outsource printing, telephone answering, direct mailings, and more for your business and painting, decorating, lawn care, and more for your home. Specialists can always accomplish more in less time, since they have the knowledge, skill, equipment, and experience.

When outsourcing, give complete and specific instructions. Put them in writing. Ensure the person understands you by having them explain what needs to be done back to you, especially if this is going to be an expensive project.

When the project is done

It's vital to keep track of what you're delegating, to whom, and when you need it done. Keep a list and check it regularly. When an item is complete, cross it off your list.

When the project has been completed, don't forget to praise the person for a job well done. A small gift or handwritten note goes a long way in showing your appreciation. Plus, you'll motivate people to want to do more! Try giving an extra day off from work, a gift certificate for a free lunch, or something else you know this person would really enjoy.

Author information: Maria Gracia is the author of Finally Organized, Finally Free. For more information about organizing your office, home, or life, go to Gracia's Web site, Get Organized Now.


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