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Defining Delegation: Effective Business Tips to go from Exhausted to Relaxed

by | Apr 13, 2021

Defining delegation for your team can be a game-changer. If you came to this blog, just expecting the Merriam-Webster definition of delegation, we’ve got a whole lot more in store for you. After all, that definition is a bit simplistic: “to entrust to another.” While it’s true the delegation involves trust, this definition doesn’t really help in explaining what you should trust others with. We’re not here to tell you a list of tasks a virtual assistant can do either (we have another blog on that). Instead, we’re going to walk through an exercise with you that helps you understand what tasks would be best for you and your business to delegate based on what you love and what you’re good at.  

Think of all the tasks you do

To start, you’ll want to think through all the various tasks you do as a business owner. Think through everything from meetings to bookkeeper, social media to presentations. You can make an entire list of these tasks or just start thinking through what your typical week includes. If you’re overwhelmed with your personal life, think through some of those tasks as well. Things like booking a doctor’s appointment or booking travel can also take up a decent amount of your time. Once you have a good idea of everything that you do through the week, we’re going to put those tasks into four boxes which helps with defining delegation.  
 

The Four Boxes

As you can see above, the four boxes relate to certain topics:
  1. What you love and what you’re great at – This is your zone of genius. The stuff that you get out of bed in the morning for. It’s probably the reason you started your business.
  2. What you like and what you’re good at – These are the things that are okay. They might not be your biggest passion but you feel good doing them and you do a pretty good job with them.
  3. What you don’t like and are good at – We all have some things that we just don’t like doing even though we’re good at it. Maybe it’s something that’s tedious and detailed which you can handle but you don’t really want to spend your time on.
  4. What you don’t like and aren’t good at – It’s okay to admit that there are some things you just don’t like about your job and never really got good at. Maybe you’ve just been getting by but you’d prefer to not have to do those tasks ever again.
Now that you know what each box represents, start putting your tasks into the corresponding boxes.  

What to delegate to a virtual assistant

Now to defining delegation for you and your business. Once you’ve assigned all your tasks to a box, you have a clearer idea of what you should delegate out to a virtual assistant. Start with the “what you don’t like and aren’t good at” box. Those are the tasks that you most critically want off your plate. You know you’re not good at them and you don’t like doing them. Having someone else do them would mean that you’re not spending your time on something that drains your energy but it will also mean that those tasks will be done better than you could have. If there aren’t many tasks in box 4 or you find that you need more tasks to give your virtual assistant, turn to box 3. While you’re good at these tasks, you don’t like doing them. Someone else can be good at those in your place. These tasks aren’t as critical to get off your plate but they definitely make your life easier. Can you imagine what your day-to-day would be like if you were just doing tasks from box 1 & 2? Take some time to picture it. You’d be doing tasks you like and are good at all day long. Anything outside that would be taken care of by someone else. That’s what we mean by defining delegation.  

A bonus box

You might have had a few tasks that seemed to fit a fifth category: “what you like and aren’t good at.” Maybe you love spending time on graphics but you’re just not very good at graphic design. Or you could love the idea of public speaking but get too nervous to ever do it well. If you had some tasks that fit in the bonus box, these are areas for further learning. When you see a mastermind on those subjects or get some free time to invest in self-development, these are the topics you should pursue. Before you know it, those tasks will move to box 1 or 2.  

Have a team? Use these boxes with them

This exercise doesn’t have to be limited to business owners. If you have a whole team working with you, have them do this exercise as well. You might find that one employee has quite a few tasks in box 4 and needs to have their position revamped in order to continue thriving at your company. Maybe you’ll see that a task your employee has in box number 1 is something they could be doing more. It’s a great way to know where your team would best thrive and how you can support them with those tasks they don’t like. If anyone on your team has a bonus box, you’ve now got a great idea for professional development. Ready to add to your team and hit the ground running? Check out our free resource on How to Best Work with a Virtual Assistant. 

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