Many people in management positions find that their productivity is negatively impacted by their reluctance to let go. If you are in this position, you are likely to be feeling overwhelmed, be working longer and longer hours and not having the time to step back from the day to day and to lead and manage your team and area of responsibility.
Delegation refers to the transfer of responsibility and authority for specific tasks from one person to another and holding the person accountable for doing these tasks. Outsourcing is similar to delegation but usually involves specific tasks and business functions being contracted out to third party organisations.
If you are finding time management a challenge, consider delegation and outsourcing. Here are some examples of areas you may be able to delegate or outsource:
Basic, routine and administrative tasks. This could be a whole range of things including phone answering, arranging meetings, answering emails, updating spreadsheets or even data entry. These tasks are likely to be very time consuming for you but very easy to delegate or outsource to others. Which basic, routine and administrative tasks are you doing and who could you delegate or outsource them to?
Things you like doing. You may still be managing the department’s suppliers because you enjoy chatting with them or running the daily team update meeting because you like seeing all the staff every day. Review what you are doing because you like doing it and consider delegating to other people within your team or company. What things are you doing because you like doing them?
Tasks that are not in your area of expertise. This could be anything from training to sales and marketing. If you are doing tasks not in your area of expertise you will find them difficult and very time consuming. Review where you are spending your time and consider delegating or outsourcing those things that are not within your area of expertise. What tasks are you doing that are not in your area of expertise?
Areas that fit into someone else's job description. This often happens where you do not trust them to do the work, don’t think they are capable of doing the work or where you don’t want to deal with them. Consider areas that you are doing that are actually in someone else's job description and take the time to properly delegate and handover the tasks to them. Are you doing work that fits into someone else's job description?
Authority and decision making. If every decision and authorisation in your area is made by you, you are likely to be a major bottleneck. Consider delegating some of the decision making and authority to others within your team. An authority grid that involves only major decisions coming to you may be the way forward. Are you taking all the decisions and authorising everything in your area of control?
While you are looking at your productivity also consider things you are doing that are not essential for the business that you can stop doing all together. Maybe you are completing a process that is no longer required or maybe you are analysing data that can be analysed by a system. What could you stop doing all together?
Could you delegate or outsource more to improve your productivity?
How to find out more
If you would like to find out more about improving your productivity, why not take one of our time management courses on Learn Formula or CPD Formula, which include lots of time management tips and strategies.