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15 Effective Delegation Strategies for Busy Leaders

(As Seen on Forbes) As an entrepreneur, you probably live, sleep and breathe your business. However, as your business grows, you may find you have fewer hours in the day to tackle your ever-growing to-do list.

In order to avoid burnout and declining productivity, it’s important to delegate certain tasks to trusted employees. Doing so can allow you to focus more on your top priorities and less on those tiny day-to-day tasks that you don’t truly need to be doing yourself.

Forbes Coaches Council members share tips for leaders to better manage their time by delegating.

1. Take The Focus Off Yourself As The ‘Doer’

Put yourself in the right frame of mind to begin delegating as you start each day. A great first step is to change what you ask yourself every morning. Instead of asking yourself, “What do I need to do today?” ask yourself, “What needs to get done today?” This simple change takes the focus off you as the resource and puts the focus on the task at hand for all resources you choose to engage. – Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, LLC

2. Set Clear Expectations Upfront

It’s easy to think as a leader you can do it all, but we all know that’s not true. It’s important to include your team and delegate based on skills and strength. Prioritize what you can keep and determine what can be handed off. For items that are handed off, set clear expectations and ensure you follow up to not only check what’s expected, but also to make sure the employees know that they are supported. – Nadidah Coveney, CTM Consulting Group LLC

3. Automate What You Can

Busy entrepreneurs can automate tasks and processes like social media posting to free up their time so they can focus on other areas of the businesses. In addition, bots can help automate chat features on their websites and messenger apps to answer basic and frequently asked questions on products and services. Schedule emails to automatically send event campaigns on a schedule through CRM. – Katrina Brittingham, VentureReady LLC

4. Ask Yourself What Success Looks Like Today

Business leaders get pulled in so many directions. It is critical to ask yourself, “What does success look like today?” Keep the benchmark goals in daily steps. Do not dilute your efforts toward completing that picture. Unless it is a critical event, it should still not divert you from your primary “success” goals.  More than three priorities means no priorities at all. – Parke Kallenberg, ADVANCE Consulting Group

5. Identify What You Will Stop Doing

The first level of clarity for a leader is their ability to identify what they will stop doing the next quarter. This heightened level of consciousness would then help them identify what they need to delegate in order to achieve more. In addition, leaders should know that reflection is their hidden strength—if they could maintain a diary, and reflect every day, they can start delegating better. – Venkataraman Subramanyan, Tripura Multinational

6. Live By The 80/20 Rule

Relentlessly live by the 80/20 Rule: 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of the results you want. Focus on high-leverage ROI—what you can do this day or week or month to make the most progress toward your highest-priority goals. Ruthlessly jettison the “everything is No. 1” myth. Delegate only what supports your 20% and doesn’t need your personal touch. The rest will become unnecessary over time. – Diana Furr, Champions of Destiny

7. Focus On Value

A great time management tip is to plan each day by making a list of tasks that need to be done. Next to each item, add two things: enjoyment factor and dollar value (rate each high, mid or low). Prioritize by tackling the high-value tasks first, then the most enjoyable. Delegate the low value and low enjoyment tasks, and you’ll be happier, more productive and more profitable. – Sheryl Lyons, Culture Spark LLC

8. Don’t Try To Take Control Back Once You Delegate

One of the hardest parts of delegating is not taking back the power you’re giving up. Most leaders actually self-sabotage themselves by “delegating” only to take full control back too quickly. When you give someone a task, let them take it. If they do it 80% or better than you can, let them finish and guide them for future tasks. If you take control, you disempower them and you overload yourself! – Cody Dakota Wooten, The Leadership Guide

9. Choose One Thing To Delegate

When work is overwhelming, even delegation can be too much to handle. “It’s easier to do it myself,” we say, “than to teach someone else.” While that may be true, it’s also unsustainable. You can take off the pressure and also take advantage of delegating by living by this motto: Choose one. Choose just one thing to delegate, however small. Identify the task, list the steps and give it away. – Joelle Jay, LRI

10. Do What You’re Best At

Very few leaders are great at everything. Effective leaders focus on the activities to which they bring the most value based on their wiring. Relationship-builder? Problem solver? Skilled specifically at execution? Delegate the other duties to not only build a more balanced and inspired team, but to also achieve maximum results when everyone is focused on things at which they excel. – Lisa Walsh, Bridgepath Career Advisors, LLC

11. Ruthlessly Prioritize Your Tasks

Being an effective leader is about focusing on accomplishing the most important things that tie back to a larger goal. Ruthless prioritization of tasks on a daily basis is important to thrive as a leader. I suggest organizing tasks into the following categories: urgent/important, not urgent/important, urgent/not important, not urgent/not important. Focus on the urgent/important category first. – Holly Knoll, Holly Knoll Coaching and Consulting

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