Effective Delegation: 10 Tips to Save Your Time and Sanity

Master the art of effective delegation. If you're losing sleep because you’re constantly thinking about tomorrow’s endless to-do list, constantly checking your phone’s email to see if you need to respond back to a clients or team members, and feeling like nothing will be done right if you don't do it - this article is for you.

Are you a business owner who is losing sleep because you're constantly thinking about tomorrow's endless to-do list? Are you constantly checking your phone's email to see if you need to respond back to a client? Did you spend countless hours tediously filling out an end of year report spreadsheet?

Then it might be time to think about delegating some of your tasks out to an assistant so you can stop working in your business and start working on your business.

You might be hesitant at first to start delegating tasks in your business. You think you can handle it all, that nobody can do it as good as you can, and you think that outsourcing is too expensive. 

At the beginning you might try to master all of the skills that come with running a business. But, in the end, this will only hurt your growth and desired outcomes. You'll start to struggle to get everything done, you'll start feeling stressed, you'll make mistakes, and you might start doubting everything.

Once you decide to start delegating tasks out to an assistant you can start to move forward to better productivity, become more efficient, and you will be able to focus on core high level tasks.

Delegation defined

In business, delegation is the assigning of authority to another person to perform specific tasks or complete a project. The ultimate responsibility for the task completion remains with the person who delegated the task out. When you delegate out a specific assignment you are trusting that someone else will be able to complete parts of your job.

10 tips for effective delegation

If you are a new manager or have never gone through the delegation process before, the following tips will help guide you through process, so you'll get your ideal desired results and final product.

1. Get organized

Take time to brainstorm what you need help with and decide what you plan to delegate to your team. It's smart to think about all the steps they will be taking no matter how small or large the task might be.

Having guidelines, systems, and workflows in place will help you to easily delegate tasks to your team.

2. Pick the right assistant for the delegated task

If you delegate a task to someone who has no expertise in that area, then your results will not be what you are expecting.

Review your team members strengths, skill sets, weaknesses, experience, and areas of expertise. You want to match the right assistant with the task, so be sure to confirm with them that they can complete what you require and can provide you with your desired outcome. 

3. Explain the importance of the task

It's helpful for your assistant to understand why they are completing this task for you and how it will either contribute to the company's growth or to their own personal career growth.

4. Delegate the entire task

If you give one person the entire task this will allow your assistant to fully understand every step in the process.

If you breakup the delegated work into chunks for multiple team members to complete, then it will lead to confusion, more meetings, and possible duplication of work.

5. Provide detailed goals and expectations

Clear communication at the beginning of a task is key to effective delegation. If you don't let your assistant know what you are expecting as an end result, you may be disappointed in the outcome.

You should be sure to discuss the anticipated result, deadline, tools/software to be used, names of people to contact, resources they can use, funds available, and when they should report their progress to you.

6. Completely handover the authority

Trust that your assistant will perform the delegated task on their own within the specified time and guidelines.

7. Give support, guidance, training, and clear instructions

When delegating a task to your assistant provide them with all of the details you can at the onset. Let them know that you are always available as a resource if they have questions or get stuck.

If they need training on how to complete part of the task, make sure you set aside time to provide this to them before they get started.

8. Ask for regular updates

When you monitor the progress being made and ask for regular updates this will help you feel comfortable in knowing the work that has been done so far and will give your assistant time to ask you any questions they might have.

You'll be able to step in sooner to fix any errors and guide your assistant onto the right track.

However, try not to micromanage. You only want to help support your assistant if they need it.

9. Don't expect perfection

If you aren't completely satisfied with the end product don't take it back from them right away and fix it all yourself. This is a time where you can teach and instruct which will only strengthen your management skills.

Nothing will ever be exactly perfect in your eyes and if you can be okay with a delegated task completed to 90% of your satisfaction, that will save you time and energy.

You should focus on the progress that has been made rather than perfection. A task done is always growing your business further.

10. Review and reward

The tasks that you are delegating to your assistant will help grow your business and any feedback you receive should be shared with them. Let your assistant know if a customer gives you a positive review, if management is happy with the results, or if you see a spike in sales. This will keep them motivated to continue to work hard and provide you with top notch work.

Take time to provide any constructive feedback on what they can improve on for the next project. If you set up time to meet with your assistant right after they finish the task it will be easier for your them reflect on your feedback since the project is fresh in their mind.

Common reasons people don't delegate

Business owners won't outsource tasks to an assistant because they falsely believe it will hurt their business or productivity. When you first thought about delegating tasks out to a team member, did any of these points cross your mind?

  • "It's hard to give up control since I'm are the 'expert' of my own business." If you want to grow your business and profits, you can't be the only one working for your business. You need to outsource and hire team members so you can gain more clients and customers. There are numerous assistants available that are skilled and knowledgeable in many different fields. You'll be amazed at the things you think you might be the expert in, but you will come to find that you don't know it all!
  • "Delegating will add more work to my plate." When you decide to go through the delegation process, you'll have to hire, interview, train, and monitor your assistants work. While it might be a little bit of extra work in the beginning, it will give you so much more time back in the long term so you can focus on higher level tasks.
  • "I've mastered a skill, so I just do it myself." This is a completely backwards way of thinking. If you've mastered a skill and you can now do it easily…then it's time to outsource to a team member and move on to learning something that requires greater involvement or is of higher value to your business.
  • "I want to keep all the money I make and it's too expensive to hire help." You're thinking that if you hire an assistant, you'll have to pay them, so you'll lose money. You need to instead evaluate the tasks you are doing and ask yourself, “who can do this job at a lower cost than it would cost of me to complete it?” Outsourcing tasks to an assistant with expertise in specific skill set will free up your time and save you money in the long run. A skilled assistant might be able to handle a task in one hour that has been taking you three hours to complete.
  • "I don't know what I could delegate to an assistant." Many business owners get stuck because they don't know what they could delegate to an assistant. Here are some ideas on what you can outsource:
    • Low priority tasks
    • Tedious or repetitive tasks
    • Administrative tasks
    • Research
    • Data entry
    • Tasks you aren't great at and you know someone else can do better
    • Tasks you don't enjoy doing
    • Click here to learn more about what tasks a virtual assistant can help you with

Suggestions on ways to ease into delegating tasks if you're uneasy

Are you feeling a little skeptical still about the delegation process? If so, think about taking some smaller steps to test it out.

  • Think of one or two smaller tasks that you do that another person could probably handle for you. When you hire an assistant, they don't have to work for you full-time. You can hire them for a few hours per week or month. If you are happy with the results, then you can continue to send them more and more work as time goes on.
  • Make it a habit to question yourself on the tasks you are completing every day. Ask yourself "is there someone else that could handle this for me?" If you answer yes, then try outsourcing that task.
  • Make a list of all the tasks that you dislike doing or that you would need to learn in order to grow your business. Use this list as a place to start delegating from.
  • Think about the consequences of not delegating:
    • The quality of your work will suffer.
    • You'll start making mistakes.
    • You won't have enough time to get everything done.
    • You won't be able to grow your business as effectively.
    • You'll feel stressed and frustrated.
    • You'll doubt the success of your business.

A high-performing team is much more productive than a high-performing individual, so take the time to delegate tasks and teach your assistant how to effectively help your business grow. You won't be a good business owner if you can't delegate tasks to your team.

Take our quiz to help you determine what you should delegate today:

More resources to read if you want to improve your time management and delegation skills:

5 Levels of Remarkably Effective Delegation

Successful Delegation Using the Power of Other People's Help

The Secret To Effective Delegation

The 6 Benefits of Effective Delegation

Three Steps To Overcome Your Fear of Delegation

Get Started with a Virtual Assistant

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1. Meet your assistant

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2. Create a workflow

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Who will I be working with?

If you decide to hire a Delegated virtual assistant, you will be working with a professional, U.S. based assistant exclusively. That means you can create a long-term relationship with someone who is highly qualified, trained, and knowledgeable across all of your preferences.

Do I get a dedicated assistant?

Absolutely. At Delegated, we don't outsource overseas or share tasks. With over a decade in the industry, we've pioneered and perfected the one to one dedicated assistant model. You'll have the opportunity to interview your virtual assistant and switch as your needs change.

What tasks can you do?

Our virtual assistants focus primarily on three categories of support. Front end, back end, and personal. Front end includes scheduling, calendaring, receptionist and coordination support. Back end includes data entry, processes, organization, proofreading and more. Personal of course is travel, family, home and more.

What work can't you do?

There are primarily four things that we cannot provide our clients: anything requiring a professional license, running physical errands, providing artistic, design or creative work and finally any sort of impersonation, such as outbound sales calls.

What are hours?

Every plan we offer includes a certain amount of time that your virtual assistant will work on your account. Every 30 days, that time in hours, is replenished. Any unused time will roll over for 30 days. You can add time a la carte at any time. You can also upgrade at any time. Downgrades take place at the next renewal.

How about security?

At Delegated we utilize state of the art 128 bit SSL encryption with proprietary technologies that are utilized by Fortune100 companies. Our staff is college educated, exclusively US based and endure a 9-point check resulting in a 2% hire rate. We  can send you an NDA and we are also happy to review an NDA you'd like to share with us.

What if I'm not satisfied?

We stand by our quality and we offer a 14 day money-back guarantee. Plus, if you're not pleased with the quality of any request response, we will return the time, simple. 100% guarantee across the board, no questions asked.

How we compare?

Unlike other virtual assistant companies, Delegated only uses full time W-2 Employees to provide you with support. We never outsource overseas, and we’re lucky to have really friendly and smart team members backed by proprietary software.

How can I track time?

Once you sign up, you'll have access to your Dashboard. You can view all time deductions, trends and generate reports. You can also submit tasks and build out numerous preferences. From a window to an aisle seat, or texting versus calls, customize your experience.

What else should I ask?

No two clients are the same, and we like that. Working with Delegated truly means a customized experience. We're open to adopting and learning new requirements that you may have, just let us know how we can help.
Do you have more questions?  Contact us.

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“I started out thinking this was going to just be a quick research project, but the more I dug in with my DAM the more things I realized they could do. I have Delegated handling my calls, appointments, travel.”
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"We actually updated our HR employee enrollment process to include Delegated as part of employee orientation. Every Beats by Dre employee received 1 hour of service to support their work life balance."
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