To Do ListTo Do ListAre you overwhelmed by your To Do List? Is there so much to do that you don’t know where to start? If you are doing tasks that someone else can do, then who is doing the tasks that ONLY YOU CAN DO? The answer: ???? Effective time management = The ability to delegate.

For most everyone, regardless of position, the cliché is true: Time IS money. If we don’t manage our time correctly, the business won’t run smoothly and there will be things, important things, that don’t get done or aren’t done correctly. If you are like most people, there is always the temptation to do it all yourself, because it is easier than delegating it to someone else and trusting that they are going to get the job done right. However, if you are stuck in that mind set, you are also stuck in the rut of “too much to do and not enough time to do it”. There are steps you can take to bring focus to your life, both professionally and personally, and organize your day so it doesn’t disorganize you.

The first step is to realize you need to delegate. Without the willingness to delegate, learning about time management is like cooking a delicious meal and then just sitting at the table and not eating it. Sound ridiculous? Yes, is does. But so is trying to do everything yourself. Delegate, delegate, delegate. You may ask, “How do I decide what to delegate and what to do myself?” Here are some tips:

Surround yourself with people you trust and who can do things you can’t do. Having a team you can rely on, a team with skill sets that you don’t necessarily have, is vital to any organization’s success. You personally don’t have to know or learn everything about everything. That takes a lot of time, energy AND money. You don’t know HTML? When you need your website updated, it is a wonderful thing to have an HTML diva on your team who can do it for you. You’re not a good copy writer? Delegate it to someone who has a way with words and knows the ins and outs of today’s market place. You can decide to delegate and then have the final approval and, yes, control the outcome.

Make a list of what needs to be done. This is a complete and comprehensive list of tasks – from answering the phone to making bank deposits and everything in between. Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly things. Things like checking emails, calling clients, picking up and dropping off the mail, doing annual inventory, sweeping the floor, setting up a webinar, arranging travel to a quarterly conference, etc. The list goes on. The important thing here is to make sure the list is complete. Write down the things you do as you do them and how often you do them and how much time it takes to do them. This is an excellent way to get an overall time snapshot of your world.

To Do ListMark the things on that list that ONLY YOU CAN DO. Not the things that you WANT to do, mark the things that only you can do. These are things that are unique to your position, whatever that is – functions that only you can perform. This can be the hard part, though, because there are probably things that you have been doing that you like doing and want to do, but someone else can do them. You need to let go of those things. You need to focus your time and effort on areas where you are most effective. That is usually doing the things only you can do.

Provide the details when you delegate to other people. How you delegate tasks to other people is as important as the actual delegating. If you don’t provide enough information when you delegate (details AND a deadline), then don’t expect the results to necessarily be what you want. Yes, occasionally there will be someone who “knows what you are thinking”, but most people don’t know unless you tell them. The degree of detail you provide is directly related to the level of success you can expect when you delegate a task to someone. Of course, delegating the task of sweeping the floor doesn’t sound like it needs much detail, right? But if you don’t specify that you want all of the furniture moved and swept under, then those lint balls will probably stay under the desk. If you delegate the task of organizing your filing system and don’t give any detailed instructions, then you probably won’t be able to find that file you are looking for when you need it. Always be sure to delegate with details and a deadline.

Trust them to get the job done. Micromanaging is NEVER a good thing. It will suck the time out of your schedule, and it can be worse than not delegating at all. If you have ever had to work with someone “looking over your shoulder”, you know that is uncomfortable and counter productive, so don’t do it when you delegate. If you have surrounded yourself with knowledgeable, trustworthy people, you can delegate and let it go. People tend to live up to expectations, so if you maintain a high standard of expectation, your delegation process should be a success.

Be willing to adjust your delegating plan. We always have the best of intentions when we start anything new, and this is no different. Once you have your list made, your tasks assigned (to yourself or to others), and your people and your plan place, be flexible and willing to adjust along the way. If you have a team with diverse skills, then you should have no problem in delegating to the right person to get the job done, on time, and the way you want it done.

Regardless of your situation, whether a solo business entrepreneur or a high level manager, your ability to delegate is a key to smooth work flow and overall business success. When you figure out what only you can do and delegate the rest, you are well on the way to the next level. Have a “Delegation Revelation” and take the first step: Let the Smart to Finish Office Solutions virtual assistant team come alongside you to implement your day to day operations and Infusionsoft support, so you can focus on your mission and your passion – DOING ONLY WHAT YOU CAN DO! Happy Delegating!

written by – Janet Broer, Smart To Finish Diva