Delegating Work

As your business grows, or as you take on more responsibilites in your position, it is inevitable that you will need to delegate some duties to others.

However, sometimes people have a hard time doing so. The main reason I have noticed is that they have not prepared for this eventuality in advance.

From the beginning of your job or business, or failing that, from this moment, you can begin preparing by jotting down on a scratch pad (or in a computer note pad - my preference) the steps you take to accomplish your various duties. I also recommend that you take note of each duty you handle on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Just jot it all down as it comes up. Do this for even the most menial of tasks, as these will be the easiest for someone else to take over for you.

Over time, you will amass a surprisingly long list of duties as well as the instructions for exactly how best to accomplish them. Think about it: Over time, you work out the details of how best to accomplish so many tasks, perhaps interfacing with vendors or people in other departments to find the best methods of taking care of certain tasks. If you are jotting down the updates along the way, you are organically creating an instruction manual, or desk manual, for all the duties in your positon. When the time comes that you wish to focus on the more exciting, or the more important aspects of your responsibilities, at a glance at your list of duties, you will be able to determine exactly which duties are best delegated, and what days, weeks, or months they must be handled.

You will not have to spend a lot of time going over how you want things done, as this will already be in writing. It will be easier for your assistant to consistently perform to your specifications, as she or he will be able to refer back as needed to the written instructions. You will be able to count on your delegated tasks being handled to your level of quality. Thus, you will be able to concentrate on your more important work.

The desk manual will also empower you to find the right person for the position, as you and they will know more closely what you are needing.

I have met people who worry about putting down on paper all their duties and instructions, thinking that this will make it seem they are less indespensable. I could not disagree more. In my experience, creating a comprehensive desk manual actually shows how much is involved in the position, which is always much more than anyone is aware of. It absolutely helps you with job reviews and raises, as well as job promotions. If your employer knows you have made it possible for your excellent management of your position to empower the next employee, he or she will not only know that you have mastered that position and so have shown your readiness for more a challenging one, but will be grateful for your professionalism and team-playing that has ensured that the position be handled in the same excellent manner that you have managed it.

I will be happy to show you how to create your own desk manual, or I can come in and create one for you.

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Theresa Romero
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StarOffice Organization Specialist
Consulting and Hourly Services
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