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A Guide to Managing Time

4. Implementation: Delegation

The one sure way of being able to achieve more in a given amount of time is to be able to delegate work to others. Many jobs would be impossible to do if most of the work was not delegated – how would YOU cope as President of the United States or head of IBM or any other large organisation if you couldn’t delegate effectively?

Of course there will always be lots of reasons NOT to delegate:

‘It is quicker to do it myself’: it takes time to explain things

‘I am better at it’: and as long as you go on doing it yourself you will continue to be better at it than everyone else!

‘I get it right first time’: because of course you are better at it!

‘They are too busy’: and until you start to broaden their horizons you will never be sure just how much they CAN handle (and how much they could delegate to others if given the chance)

‘I like doing it!’: because we are human, and doing is often nicer than managing, especially if you are good at it.

Some of these are real problems and need practical solutions. Others may have a psychological element to them, such as giving you a reason not to be tackling the more difficult tasks, or fear of giving away some of your power to others, or losing some of your control by granting your people greater autonomy.

The problem is that delegating things takes time at first. It will always be quicker to do it yourself first time around. But then what happens the next time?

The more you delegate to others the faster they will grow and the more productive you will all become in the end. But you have to make the investment first.

Remember the saying that the graveyard is full of people who thought that they were indispensable.

Here are some quick tips:

• Match the task to the person, especially at first whilst you are building people’s confidence. Let people walk before you ask them to run.

• Take the time to brief properly, giving them a full set of parameters as to what they can and cannot do and giving them the chance to ask questions. Allow for the need to coach them if necessary.

• Check that they fully understand what is needed, when by and to what standard.

• As for progress reports, but don’t leave them feeling that you are looking over their shoulder.

• Remember to praise them for a job well done!

Previous | Next

Sections

Introduction
The Problem with Time

1. The Vision Thing: Creating an Overview
Doing the right thing

2. Priorities: First Things First
What needs to be done and what comes first

3. Working the Plan:
Making time for the important things

> 4. Delegation:
Getting more done through others

5. Procrastination:
Think positive and do it now!

6. Perfect, Perfect, Perfection:
Quantity versus quality - Knowing when to move on

7. Putting Time Management to Work:
So much for the theory, now for the practice