Delegating work can be a smart choice even when the task takes only a few minutes. Assign the task to someone else when:
- The other person has greater expertise. For example, you could figure out how to format the document or spreadsheet, given enough time. But someone who is an expert in Word or Excel could do it in seconds. For a one-time or occasional task, ask an expert for assistance. If you will need the same type of work often, ask the expert to train you. Another option: Trade expertise with a colleague. If you’re a wiz at Word and your colleague is a master at Excel, you can help each other.
- The assignment is on opportunity. An assignment that will allow a team member to develop a new skill or meet an important contact is worth delegating. When you make the assignment, explain what you hope the other person will gain from doing it.
- The task that must be done frequently. If the task takes minutes a day, but must be done daily, you can save hours by training your assistant to do it instead. Invest the time necessary to train others to handle routine tasks.
Don’t delegate a minor task that must be done only once. If it will take the same or more time to tell someone else to do the task, just do it yourself. Otherwise you waste your time and the other person’s, plus you risk appearing arrogant.
What minor tasks have you been able to delegate?
[Image Source: Joe Houghton]