Delegation [cheat sheet]

This week I’ve been asked this question:

“I have a team of 15 people and find it a real struggle to let go of things. I’m not great at delegating and find it just quicker to do it myself. That said I know that I need to work on this as my time is better spent elsewhere. What can I do to get better at this?” 

This is such a great question and one that I hear this all the time.

Learning to let go can be tough, especially if it’s your business, and you might even have been used to doing all the tasks yourself once upon a time.

But the reason you have a team, is because you need them and doing everything yourself just isn’t an option. Trying to is the quickest route to feeling overwhelmed, unproductive and stressed. Not to mention leaving your team feeling completely de-motivated.

So, if you’re struggling to delegate have a go at these tips:

1) Make a list and start small.

Make a note of all the tasks that you’re regularly doing that could easily be done by someone else and see how much time they’re taking up (you’ll probably be surprised at how much time this really is, and what you could get done instead) Once you’ve got your list, decide which of the tasks you’re going to delegate first, and work on that.

2) Take time to train

Rather than just jumping in and delegating a task, make sure your team member is fully trained. By taking the time to go through this properly you’ll be building your own confidence that they know what to do, but you’re also ensuring that they’re happy with what they need to do too.  This is the step where most people fall down as the ‘it’s quicker if I do it myself’ comes into play. The thing is, if you skimp on this neither of you will feel happy about doing the task…and the chances of either them failing or you just doing it anyway are much higher.

Remember, doing this step, gives you back up, and means that you can focus on other things going forward….so think short term pain, long term gain!

3) Have regular reviews

Build in some regular checkpoints so that you know that everything is as it should. This doesn’t have to be something that happens on a long term basis for smaller tasks, but it’s a good way to build up confidence, and gives you the ability to spot any mistakes early on.

I’d love to hear your tips for delegating, so let me know by leaving a comment.


  1. Kathleen Robb

    Hi Barbara,
    Having been through burnout by trying to do it all, I think this topic is really important and a necessary step in simplifying life. The other thing I found to be useful was really checking whether tasks needed to be done at all, or could be automated.
    I really love keeping it simple now, and it’s amazing that my work is only more fulfilling now.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. admin

    Hi Kath, Yes – so often we try to do everything without questioning whether things need to be done at all, and whether they’re adding value or we’ve just got used to doing them.


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