Stress is part of our daily lives. It is also called ‘the silent killer’. It’s hard to focus on everything, multitask and to stay at the top of your game day in and day out. Everyone always says it is important to live a balanced lifestyle, but how? Maybe all you need to do is to go back to the basics. For you to enjoy life and take off the edge both personally and professionally, start with this one thing. Start by delegating. Delegation is a useful tool in time management to relieve stress, but it is underutilized.
To delegate means that you assign certain responsibilities like tasks or activities to another person. You are in fact empowering that individual to make decisions. Don’t be fooled though, you as the person who delegated the work is still held accountable should this task be a failure or not completed. It, however, lightens the workload tremendously if assigned and monitored correctly. So the real question is whom to delegate to and how to manage the delegation of the tasks needed to be performed.
In order for you to be an effective leader, supervisor, manager or even a team leader it is extremely important to develop your delegation skills so that you can achieve the goals and also help grow your own employees’ or team members’ skills and knowledge.
When wanting to delegate, you are faced with some pitfalls. Your immediate questions are; can I trust them to do the job well? I’m I not merely dumping my own work on them? What if they make a mess and I have to re-do it anyway? You also think that it is too time-consuming to train someone or to meet with them to give the task over. You consider doing it yourself, and then you know it is right from the beginning without wasting time. Sound familiar?
Indirectly, when you think and act like this, you immediately take away other people’s chance to learn and grow. The other problem you are faced with is that you will always have too much to do, feel overworked and you will never have a chance to develop your own skills and knowledge because you will not have the opportunity to explore new avenues. For example, if you own your own business and you want to expand, training someone will be an investment now that you will reap the benefits of when you release yourself from those duties to concentrate on the strategic development of your own business goals.
Be warned though, some things are not for delegating, especially if you own a business or if you are responsible for a team. Never delegate facilitation of a change process, never hand over your performance reviews to someone else and never hire or fire someone through someone else. You remain the manager or owner. People lose respect for someone who is not involved in these processes.
When you delegate tasks, make sure the task is delegated to the right individual who can handle it, who has the capacity time wise, the ability and experience needed to complete the task properly. Then communicate the task at hand and give clear and concise checklists and deadlines. Then decide how much decision-making power you will allow that specific individual.
Continuous monitoring is needed to keep the individual and task goals aligned. After completing the task, a detailed evaluation should take place so that the individual knows which issues and short falls need work.
When you start to delegate properly and more frequently you will see the benefits. You will have more free time to concentrate on tasks important to you, your staffs’ morale will increase and you will soon have employees and team members that are well trained and skilled. When done correctly this process will not only relieve your own stress but will increase you and your team’s productivity.