I’m too busy. How do I delegate more work?

You only have so many hours in the day. How you spend those hours defines the value you are adding to your team or company.

A common mistake of young professionals and new managers is to try to accomplish too much on their own. Delegating is a great way to empower your team to make progress faster. 

Delegating part of your work to the right people (or automating with technology) will free up your time to focus on the responsibilities that require your unique skill set. Plus, this gives you a chance to invest in your team. Thoughtful delegation will help others develop new skills and become stronger professionals.

How can you delegate and where should you start? 

Audit your responsibilities. How are you spending your time each week? If you were to delegate some of your work, how might you add more value to the team or business? Which of your responsibilities are adding the least amount of value? Which responsibilities are adding value but could be completed by someone else (or automated by a tool?) Hint: Delegate these.

Prioritize responsibilities to be delegated. Of the responsibilities that both (a) add value and (b) could be given to someone else, which ones are most urgent or most interesting for other members on your team?

Delegate with clear expectations. Start with just one responsibility from your list and choose the person to take this task on. Have a conversation with the person who will take your responsibility. Get buy-in! Explain why this responsibility is important and set clear expectations for the intended outcome. 

Share any information you have. There is no reason for someone else to learn this all from scratch! Create a space for them to ask questions wherever possible. Early on, this may take more time than simply doing the task yourself - that's normal. Check-in early with this person. Do they have what they need to be successful?