Whether you rose up the ranks in the corporate ladder or you started your own business from scratch, one of the reasons why you are now a leader is because you make things done. But as the Harvard Business Review puts it, “One of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make is the shift from doing to leading.” Here are two of the common mistakes that leaders commit when they delegate tasks to their teams:
Don’t #1: Delegating Tasks That Do Not Need To Be Done At All
One problem is that sometimes, what gets to be delegated are things which are no longer worthwhile. For instance, you started off thinking that social media platforms could do well for your business by boosting sales, yet you have observed no substantial contribution to revenues due to low mileage and reach.
Apparently, your business hasn’t been getting any leads through social media, but your team still devotes a substantial amount of their time for this task. Had your team members reinvested their efforts into something more value-adding, such as directly contacting clients to establish relationships, they would have better use of their time by contributing more useful things to the business.
Don’t #2: Delegating Tasks That Do Not Directly Benefit The Business
Another problem is that sometimes, what gets to be delegated are things which do not directly benefit your team in terms of time management and efficiency. This time, it is no longer your team members, but you, who continue doing on the beneficial, yet low-value tasks at the expense of compromising the efficient use of your time.
For example, you may still be doing low-value tasks such as fixing your schedule, managing your inbox, sending client emails, or any other paperwork. Had you delegated these admin tasks to your assistant or staff, you could have spent your precious time doing more top management and business strategy-related tasks which cannot simply be delegated to your team. Better leave to yourself the more high-level tasks which requires your expertise, than spend your time on routine activities.
Do #1: Start Keeping Track Of The Time
Maybe the reason why you keep delegating things which do not effectively manage both your time and your assistant’s is that first of all, you aren’t even aware of how much time you spend on your tasks – whether high-level or low-value. There are useful online applications, such as Rescue Time, which help you accurately track the time that you use for your various activities such as meetings, calls, social media, and even slack. As an alternative, you may also use a diary or google calendar.
Do #2: Rank Your Tasks Based On Your Priority
Once you’ve gotten a grasp of the time spent on each activity, you can now rank them based on their value and enjoyment to properly identify the priority tasks. What’s tricky about these business tasks is that sometimes, those with the lowest priority were taking up the largest amount of time. By channelling your time and efforts to activities which directly contribute to business growth, you are starting to perfect the art of delegation.
So while delegating tasks can sometimes be tricky and difficult, it will always be worth it to see your business benefit from the efficient use of the time of everyone in the team.