If you look at all your tasks, there are probably many that you could delegate or outsource. Just because you can do everything yourself doesn’t mean you should. Delegating and outsourcing can make you considerably more productive.
While it sounds obvious that we should all be delegating and outsourcing more, few of us do it. Why?
We tend to think that delegating is trying to escape and pass off work to other people. Some people, especially at work, think that delegating is a sign of weakness. You may even think you’re the only one that can do the job properly.
Letting go is difficult. However, to be productive you must accept you can’t accomplish everything on your own. The key is to know which tasks can be delegated. After all, if you delegate the wrong tasks, you could be giving yourself more work, not less.
How do you know which tasks are suitable for delegation? Here is a quick guide:
- Tiny tasks. These are jobs that are quick to do individually but which mount up over time. Tasks like scheduling meetings, deleting spam, or booking flights can all be delegated.
- Tedious tasks. Mindless jobs which require minimal skill such as filing or photocopying can be delegated.
- Time-consuming tasks. Break these long jobs into chunks then delegate each section to other people.
- Teachable tasks. If you could show someone else how to do the job just as well as you, do it! It’ll take time in the short-term but save you hours in the long run.
- Tasks you can’t do. Nobody is an expert at everything. If you’re poor at report-writing, design, or have no IT skills, delegate those tasks. It makes sense to give the job to somebody with the necessary skills.
- Time-sensitive tasks. If you simply lack sufficient time to complete a time-sensitive job, delegate elements of it to others.
Now you know which tasks you can delegate. How do you go about doing it?
First, you need to select the best person for each task. You need to choose someone with the necessary skills to complete the job well. You also need to explain the reasons for delegating the task. The person you’ve chosen needs to know why they’ve been selected.
It goes without saying that when you delegate tasks, you need to supply the right instructions to go with them. Nobody can effectively complete a task without knowing how to do it or what’s expected of them.
Make it clear precisely what you need, or you’ll end up wasting time redoing the task at hand. You may also need to provide training and resources to those you’ve delegated the job to. This ensures the task is completed to the same standards as when you were doing it yourself.
On the same note, outsourcing can also be highly beneficial for productivity. It helps you to save time and to be more focused on essential tasks. This applies both in the home and at work.
What kind of tasks can you outsource?
Why not consider hiring a VA (or virtual assistant). If you’re running a business, a low-cost VA can help with repetitive and low-skilled tasks. Jobs like booking travel, scheduling meetings, and replying to emails can all be outsourced to a VA. When you eliminate these tasks from your life, you’ll get more essential work done.
Hire some help at home. Staying productive at home is easier if you outsource the most menial, boring, and repetitive tasks to others. Hire a cleaner to save you time.
Pay somebody to install your dishwasher rather than struggling to do the job yourself. Get a gardener to keep your lawn looking its best rather than spending an hour mowing each weekend. Freeing up this extra time allows you to focus on more important home-related tasks.
You should also be utilizing productivity tools to your best advantage. Hardware and software exist to boost your productivity, so leverage them. Invest in a tablet that allows you to work on your commute.
Use an online calendar that gives you automated reminders about your to-do list. Harness the potential of the latest apps to make managing all elements of your life smoother and easier.
By making these simple changes, you’ll be much more productive daily.
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