I never realized how difficult it was for me to delegate until I was blessed with Ella, an intern extraordinaire. I have had much success mentoring young women by having them shadow me. But my new intern took this one step further by taking over some of my tasks. These included getting me organized, managing my schedule and travel plans and generally making my life easier. I cannot imagine how difficult and frustrating this must have been for her. I was holding the chaos on my desk close to my chest, as she relentlessly tried to assume command. After a few weeks, I have to say that the mentoring went both ways – I learned to delegate, and I guess she learned about life as a woman business leader.
Here’s a good list of things you need to delegate, condensed from an article by Fabienne Frederickson:
- Delegate anything that does not make you money
If you’re doing something that doesn’t make you money, it’s not your “brilliance work” – those activities you perform that bring in the most amount of money using the least amount of time and effort. I want you to look at how much you earn per hour when you’re doing your brilliance work. Now, consider how much you’re not earning when you’re doing other work you could be paying someone else to do.
- Delegate anything that you’re not good at doing
If you’re not good at doing something, chances are you’re not enjoying it, not doing it well and taking longer to do it than someone else would. For me, that task is bookkeeping. I spent way too many hours struggling to keep up my books until I finally realized it was best to have someone else do the job.
- Delegate what you don’t know how to do
I don’t know how to code HTML or how to build a website. But I know that if I want to get more clients and make more money, then I have to have a professional web presence. That means hiring someone who’s got great coding and website skills, and delegating that work to them—which is exactly what I did.
- Delegate what you don’t have time to do
When I started my business, I kept my own schedule and at first, this made sense. But over time the more clients I brought on and the busier my calendar became, the more time it took to schedule–and reschedule–meetings.
It’s been working out for both of us, but I do admit I probably put up more of a fight than I imagined! For me, delegating was easier said than done, but I highly recommend it for anyone who feels overwhelmed. You probably are!