Do you ever find yourself with too many tasks on your plate?
Or maybe you have reached the point where your daily tasks are stopping you from doing things you want to do. This situation tends to happen more often to entrepreneurs than they realize. That’s why making it a habit to consistently take tasks off your plate by delegating them to your team is very important.
It can be tough to let go at the beginning, but if you want to grow and scale, you have to learn to trust your team.
In this article, we talk about an effective process you can follow so you can start getting things done:
Step 1: List down everything on your plate every month
It is important to have an overview of how the next 30 days would look like. This step will only take around one hour of your time per month, but you’ll thank yourself later for creating this list. Doing this task will not only make sure you don’t miss out on anything important but will also help you gauge which tasks take the most time off your plate, which ones are more important, and which tasks to delegate.
If you’re old school, sit down with a notebook and pen and bullet point out every single thing on your plate. You can also use the Notes app on your phone or computer or any one of those To-Do List apps available.
If you want to take it a step further, there are several project management software that can help you plot tasks and milestones you need to accomplish for a given period of time. In Outsource School, we use Trello. Topics for our blog content, for example, are listed beforehand and assigned a certain publish schedule. This way, we can see which posts need to be written within the next month so we can release them on time. We do the same for SEO tasks, newsletters, graphic design, and more.
Step 2: Go through your list and write out how you can delegate or hire
Go through your list from top to bottom and think: “Who could I pass this off to someone that’s already on the team?” Often, you don’t have to look far. There are time-consuming tasks on your plate you can pass on to someone in your team. You might have to do a little training here and there. But once they get the hang of it, you won’t have to worry about this task anymore. If you have part time virtual assistants, one option is to increase the hours they work with you by making them handle some of these tasks. This way, you don’t have to go through the process of posting a job ad and screening to look for someone who can fit well in your team. You also already know how this person works and training them for a new task would be easier given that they already have an idea of how things work in your business.
But if there isn’t anyone on the team yet who could take it, think: “Who do I need to hire that would be able to take this off my plate?” Hiring is a skill every entrepreneur must learn at some point. No matter how bad you want to take control of everything, you just can’t. Knowing how to hire the right people will propel your business forward and not bound your life into work alone.
By the end of this step, you would already have a good game plan on how to get certain tasks off your plate.
Step 3: Delegate and/or hire to get it off your plate
This is probably the most important step.
All the listing down and planning would mean nothing if you don’t delegate or hire. If you allow them to remain as lists and plans, these tasks won’t ever go away. You wake up the next day to the same mountain of tasks that overwhelm you and use up your time.
Unfortunately, it’s common to see a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners fall apart in this step and stop.
Here, you need to set up meetings with people in your team who will be taking some things off your plate. Discuss with them why you think they will do well in this area, talk about pay and work hour adjustments if needed, and start their training. You may need to constantly check on their work at the beginning. But once you see that they’re handling things well, let go and do checkups less frequently.
If you need to hire new people, start creating job posts for roles you don’t have yet on the team. Write a good job description so you don’t intimidate potential good candidates. Some job ads use a lot of jargon and require knowledge on a lot of different tools. Note that some of those skills can be taught and there’s no person who would be 100% fit for what you’re looking for. It’s okay to compromise on some aspects. What’s important is you hire people who can get things done and are willing to learn.
This step in total may take two to four weeks depending on the work that needs to be delegated, the interview/hiring process, and the training process.
But once you’re done, you’ve successfully removed tasks off your plate.
Step 4: Go back to the drawing board
And you’re done with steps one through three, go back to the drawing board. Take inventory of what you have on your plate so you can repeat the process.
It really never stops! But having that attitude allows you to focus on getting things off your plate rather than adding them.
As a business owner, tasks and projects will always come onto your plate no matter how hard you think about it.
The hard part is making sure that you’re balancing how much is going off your plate as well so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stuck in your situation.
How about you, how do you make sure that you’re consistently delegating work?