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7 Solutions to Effective Delegation

Give yourself time to work on your business – and not always just in it.

Tracey Foulkes

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You’re under pressure, your to-do list is mounting and there is just not enough time in your day to get through what needs to be done. You know you need help: this is a double edge sword considering you can’t even find a minute to breathe never mind delegate. You will probably end up with an unfavourable result which will just leave you more frustrated. You don’t want to redo everything again, so what is the point of delegating?

According to the Oxford Dictionary – the noun “delegation” refers to entrusting authority to. This means that in order to delegate, one needs to:

  • Empower someone else to take over a specific task
  • Trust them to run with the task according to a communicated specification

7 Solutions to effective delegation:

  1. Only use delegation for repeat tasks. If a task will take you 2 minutes to do, just get on with it and do it yourself. However, if the task is a repeat task that crosses your desk daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually, it’s probably worth your energy and time to delegate it now to enjoy the freedom of passing it along in the future.
  2. Stop the assumptions. Just because you had an unfavourable result when delegating in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t get it right in the future. Effective delegation requires clear instructions (how, what, why, where, by when). If you have not included all these steps in your instructions, it is not surprising you’ve been dissatisfied with the results in the past.
  3. Tell “what” needs to be done. This is the easy part for most of us but think ‘detail’ instead of ‘big picture’ so you can be ensured of a more favourable outcome.
  4. Build accountability and desire by communicating the “why”. Autocracy seldom enjoys employee buy-in, so instead of assuming that the delegatee is free and available to tackle your task, check their priority schedule first to see if your request is of greater value to the organisation at large. If they understand that the reason the report needs to be done yesterday even though you are only giving it to them to do today, your chances of a positive outcome is greater.
  5. Explain the “how” to prevent wasted time and poor delivery. We are all different and therefore what would be a logical and favourable result for you might not be the outcome delivered. The “how” means getting clear on what you want the outcome to look like. Are you looking for 5 big picture overview bullet points or a thesis? Do you need the bells and whistles, PowerPoint presentation or would a hand scribbled note suffice? If you don’t take the time to explain this point clearly you might find your team member wasting valuable time researching when all you required was a knee-jerk reaction. This one point alone costs companies millions in wasted time (read: money).
  6. Communicate “when” the task is due. If your team member is a perfectionist or last minute racer, pad the due date to protect yourself. In most circumstances though, once you have built a relationship of team engagement and accountability through explaining points 3-5 above, requesting the required task back with a small time buffer for review is in most cases more than adequate.
  7. Stick to your boundaries. If you are presented a result that doesn’t match your requirements, go back to the delegate and request them to rework the content in line with the brief you supplied. Check with yourself to make sure you have delegated the task properly the first time around and question if next time a written request might deliver more favourable results than the verbal alternative you chose. This way you will grow your team dynamic and the individual will learn to pay more attention to the desired outcome next time around.

Taking some time out of your busy schedule today to properly explain what you want by when and how as this can save you valuable time in the long run. Time, once lost, can never be replaced.

Tracey Foulkes wows audiences with her sharp wit, quick reactions and personable sense of humour. She speaks about procrastination, business productivity, personal motivation and time management. . If you want your team to be inspired to operate outside of the box, contact her for a complimentary productivity assessment, email tracey@getorganised.co or find her on Twitter as Tracey Foulkes or on LinkedIn as Tracey Foulkes.

Get Organised

(Infographic) 9 Productivity Mistakes You’re Making In The First 10 Minutes Of Your Day

From setting goals to drinking coffee, these bad morning habits might surprise you.

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There are a number of things you’re probably doing every morning that are actually hindering your productivity.

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might be surprised to find out that drinking coffee between 8 and 10 a.m can make you more stressed throughout the day. That’s because caffeine early in the morning interferes with the time that the stress hormone, cortisol, is peaking in your body. It’s best to get your fix between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

When you get into the office and try to jump right into the top of your to-do list, you might find yourself confused and not very productive. When you don’t let your brain empty and refresh before starting a project or task, it loses a sense of control, becomes overwhelmed and ultimately, makes you less productive. Something else to avoid is checking email or social media right when you wake up. Typically, after checking your inbox, it takes a person at least 25 minutes to get back into a productive state. If you start your day off reading and responding to email after email, it will take you a long time to get back on track.

Another surprising mistake is setting self-imposed goals. Setting goals and deadlines for yourself might seem like an obvious productivity hack, but it turns out, that’s not the case. Instead, share your deadlines with others and you’ll feel more pressure and responsibility to get things done.

Related: 5 Surprising Elements That Boost Your Productivity (One of Them Is Colour)

Check out resume.io’s infographic below for more productivity mistakes you’re likely making in the first 10 minutes of your day.

1538429589_9-productivity-mistakes-infographics-7934969f76af5ebe1b5b0b84ce9053ec43752717512fb7d9339e84f86afe91d1

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Workflow And Business Efficiency – 5 Strategies You Ignore At Your Peril

Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. You’re not still depending on email, are you?

Toby Nwazor

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An inefficient business can cost you a lot more than just growth – it can affect your revenue, too. According to a report by IDC, your business runs the risk of losing 20 to 30 percent of your revenue due to inefficient systems.

Unfortunately, many companies still struggle to implement the right systems to improve their workflow. Others have it worse, because they have no systems. In those situations, projects take ages to be completed, more time is spent on menial tasks and teams never seem to get enough done during work hours.

If that describes your company, your company’s profits may start to plummet, too.

Every successful business, then, has clearly defined systems to help the business run like clockwork. Improved workflow, better management and business efficiency save time, increase the bottom line and ensure a higher profit margin.

In fact, in an article on ContractZen, Tim Cummins, president of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, wrote that, “The average corporation could boost its bottom line by almost 10 percent if it invested in improving the quality of contracting.

For many companies – especially those in more complex, project-based industries – the prize could be much higher – perhaps as much as 15 percent.”

Related: Become A Life-Hacker

Unfortunately, some companies fail to provide systems that put users first, taking a negative toll on those companies’ workflow and efficiency. The good news is that they’re only five strategies away from turning this around:

1. Automate all you can

automated-emails

From email lists, bookkeeping, invoicing and contract management, to social media posts and payrolls, almost everything can be automated. For a business that aims to be more efficient, automation is a must.

Automation doesn’t just save you time, it can be the one strategy that can guarantee explosive growth and higher conversion rates. According to this Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness study, 63 percent of companies polled that were outgrowing their competitors said they had automated their marketing.

Automating monotonous tasks that have to be repeated several times during the day helps you be more productive in tasks that require your personal attention.

2. Invest in customer-relationship management software

It’s not uncommon to find businesses that are barely able to keep up with their leads. Some waste hours hunting the low-quality leads instead of focusing their energy on those ready to buy. Here, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution linked to these businesspeople’s network phone system is a great way to enhance customer communications.

Customers value businesses that provide excellent customer service. A CRM solution increases the ability to keep track of customer information, monitor leads and provide efficient delivery. Businesses can provide for their customers’ needs faster and make effective business decisions. With CRM, businesses can also keep their focus on quality leads that will drastically improve conversion rates.

Related: 11 Ways To Maximise Every Part Of Your Day

3. Set up a task-management system

slack-logo

Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. Email makes it difficult to carry everyone along. However, setting up task-management software like Slack, Trello or Asana makes it much easier to have everyone’s tasks in one place and ensure that everyone is carried along in the project.

Task-management software helps members of a team track their progress and ensure that everyone is working on their tasks.

4. Sync your calendar with that of everyone else on your team

How many times have you had to reschedule appointments because you didn’t know you had other meetings lined up for the day?

Aside from leaving negative impression in clients’ mind, this error makes you less productive. Having to go back and forth until you have settled on an appropriate date can be cumbersome especially when different time zones are involved. So, do this instead: Sync your personal calendar with your work calendar, and make sure that everyone in your team is synced to the latter, too.

This will ensure sure that everybody is “on the same page” in terms of appointments and deadlines. Google Calendar can help you do just that. Once everyone is synced up, any change in the calendar will be seen by everyone so they can manage their own appointments.

5. Block out chunks of time

time-management

Constant interruptions hamper your workflow. Imagine having to deal with turning over a project on a deadline while you’re stuck in a series of meetings throughout the day. It can get very difficult to focus on completing your most urgent tasks.

Block out chunks of time on your calendar for uninterrupted work. It’s better to schedule a series of meetings in one day than to spread them throughout the week.

If you’re creating content, block out one day to create all the content you’ll use for the week. That way your business will run more efficiently.

Related: 3 Reasons You Should Embrace Change

Wrapping it up

With the right strategies, you can turn your business around to make it efficient and lucrative. Automating your processes, setting up the right software and remaining focused on the tasks at hand will go a long way to help you do this. But just as with every good strategy, you need to remain consistent and give it time to do its magic.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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How To Multitask Like Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg And Other Very Busy People

Nine entrepreneurs tell us how they get it all done.

Entrepreneur

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tim-ferriss

Think you’re busy? Take a look at Guy Fieri‘s calendar. Or a U.S. Army general’s. Or an in-demand teenage actor’s. Or the CEO of a globally recognised company’s.

Some of the busiest people on the planet took time out of their days to tell us how they get it all done. Take note!

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