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How delegation cut 19 hours off Jim's work week.
September 20, 2011

Hello and welcome to this week's short time management tip.

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Time Management Tip

How Jim used delegation to cut 20 hours off his work week.

Jim sat overwhelmed. He had just finished a meeting with some of his key staff. They asked for the meeting to get his advice. Now he had most of the actions from the meeting. How did that happen?

This is a common scenario for many of our clients. Jim (not his real name) was unsure about how to stop this reverse delegation and be able to delegate more effectively.

The first step for Jim was to stop allowing his staff, peers and bosses to dump extra work on him. He started with his staff and worked on delegating to them in a much more effective way. Jim used our 10 steps to effective delegation every time -- Get the 10 Steps

I define Delegation as getting work done through others. This includes getting your staff to do the jobs they were hired to do, not just any "extra" task you might want help with. And that is where Jim started. He realized his first step was to delegate to his staff the things they should already be doing, but that he was doing for them.

Here are some of the things managers say to themselves and need to overcome to delegate effectively:
"It'll take less time if I just do it myself"
That's true, for one or two things -- but how many tasks for how many people can you really take on?
"No-one can do it like I can"
That's probably true too,-- are you prepared to that job for the rest of your life?
"It's too hard to explain"
It's your job as the manager to learn how to explain things so that your staff can understand what you mean
"What if they stuff it up"
Yes delegation has risks - and so does not delegating. And yes your team will make mistakes at times. They will also be learning.
"They are too busy, so I suppose I will have to do it"
This can be said for most people today. If the task is important enough then your staff need to be able to prioritize. And you need to be able to guide them.

So, if delegation is hard, why do it? Well let's see what happened for Jim.
He now works less hours each week
His stress level has reduced by over 30%
His staff are doing more work than ever before and they seem more interested and motivated
He has time to work on the strategic aspects of his management role - not just the "fires"

Jim can now see himself being promoted and able to manage more staff (this didn't seem like an option previously)

So, how did Jim achieve this?

It does take effort and discipline. Jim was able to identify exactly what was stopping him from delegating and deal with these perceptions and beliefs. He improved his delegation by using the 10 Steps and especially three key aspects.
1. He made sure that his staff knew exactly what outcome they were responsible for achieving and the consequences for achieving or not achieving it - this was jointly agreed on.
2. He made sure his staff knew that he would be holding them accountable, including having progress checks if appropriate. Jim followed through on maintaining this accountability.
3. He made sure his staff had the support, training and resources needed, while always making sure that they knew they were responsible for the outcome.

May you experience your day slowly!


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Have the time of your life this week.


Michael Erwin

Get the #1 Secret to Cut 6.5hrs Off Your Work Week and Get a Pay Rise at the Same Time!

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