The Art of Delegation
By Jessica Fialkovich | @jfialkovich
Most of us live in Colorado to appreciate different aspects of life, like exploring the outdoors, spending quality family time, and appreciating the arts. We didn’t move to this state for the hustle and bustle lifestyle we see in other cities. So why do so many of us struggle with “balance” and time management? Why does it seem we are always in a rush and never spending our time the way we want?
Our Challenge with Delegation
The key is delegation. Delegating tasks in both your business and personal life frees you up to do the things you enjoy and spend less time doing those things you don’t. Women as a group struggle with delegation. Some of the reasons we struggle with this skill are all too familiar:
We may like control
We base our worth on results of a specific task
We haven’t seen it done successfully, and therefore
We think we can do it better than anyone else
We have no system in place to engage in delegation
Part of being a leader, whether in business or at home, is letting go of these fears and our reluctance to delegate. I have used a system for years to identify and hand-off the tasks that are not the best use of my time. The system is not perfect, and I still struggle with the issues above; it is a work in progress. But the result so far? I have enough time to run both of my businesses while also having weekends free to spend time with my family, friends, and nature.
Steps to Delegation
Step 1: Identify what your time is worth. If you are working or own a business, this is easy. Take your total pay for the year and divide it by 2,080 (number of average working hours in a year). This is how much you make per hour. If you are at home or in a care-taking position, calculate what it would cost to hire someone full-time to take your place.
Step 2: List all of your roles and responsibilities. This part is daunting. Take out a legal pad (or iPad) and list out all of the tasks you are responsible for on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This is a good list to keep out in the open and add to as the days go one; we often forget how much we actually do on a daily basis.
Step 3: Estimate cost for each role. Next to each responsibility estimate what it would cost per hour to hire this task out. You can use a service like Glassdoor if you are unsure. Highlight any tasks below the hourly wage you calculated in step one.
Step 4: Delegate, automate, eliminate. For each role in step three, make a plan to either delegate this task, automate it, or eliminate it.
Step 5: Work your plan. Take one role from step four and get it off your plate. I like to start with either the lowest cost task or the one that drains the most energy from my day (like cleaning). Reach out to resources in Denver (some listed below) specializing in these services.
Step 6: Check in and repeat. See how things are going with your new outsourcer. Although no one will ever do a task 100% to your liking, shoot for about 70-80%. It’s better the task is done and off your plate than done exactly how you would do it. Let go of the control freak inside. Once you are comfortable, go back to your step four list and get something else off your plate.
Delegation is a challenging task, especially for women. But the more we hold on to our responsibilities and activities, the less we have time for. Would you rather spend time with the laundry or your children? Yeah, I thought so.
Resources for Delegation in Denver
Here are some resources and companies for the most common delegated tasks for women. When possible, I’ve tried to feature locally, women owned businesses.
Finally, check out the new coworking space for women in Denver, Women in Kind. With a range of amenities relevant to business and home and family, their tagline is: support for you in business, and the business of life.
Disclaimer: MOD Assistants is owned and operated by Jessica Fialkovich; Virginia Santy, The Broadview’s Editor in Chief, is co-owner of Women in Kind.