Make Time by Empowering Your Team

About two months ago in the article, Easing the Inbox, I included a very powerful word. Delegation. In strategizing on how to gain control of your email, Michael Hyatt’s process of ‘do, delegate or defer’ was mentioned as one way to keep items moving on through your inbox. While I hope you have gained some traction in the past few months, I would bet you still are unsure of the delegation piece of that formula.

Do you know how to delegate?

Delegation is a powerful tool when done correctly

Delegating is hard. It takes upfront investment of time and resources, trust in someone else and, what often proves to be the most difficult part, it takes the willingness to give up some control. That is extremely tough for us perfectionists (others call us control freaks).

Many people try to delegate but they don’t do it well. Forbes says: only about one manager in ten really knows how to empower others.


It can be hard to know how to empower others when we fear we are giving away our control and power in doing so. But really strengthening those around us makes a strong team and allows better performance from everyone.

Knowing what you are best at is a great place to start, or rather, not start. Don’t doom your delegation and empowerment of others to fail but handing off the key components of your business that require your insight, expertise and finesse. Instead, look for the items that are routine and teachable. Those items only require your insight the first few times. After that the predictability allows someone else to apply what you have taught them to complete the task. They have expanded their skillset and you have eliminated something from your task list.

Don’t give away the parts of your task list that you genuinely enjoy. That is part of what keeps you passionate about your business. If you love greeting the customer who enters your shop, don’t assign this to someone else while you are stuck in the back office entering inventory. This doesn’t, however, open the door to automatically shrug off everything you dislike. Whenever possible identify what causes your aversion to a particular task and see if it could be that there is someone else better suited for it. Perhaps the task creates stress for you because you are not naturally inclined to that role or you lack the skills or tools to do it well. Then find the skilled person who is well equipped to take it on.

Just using those first two options, 1. Finding what is routine and teachable and 2. Identifying what you are not naturally inclined to or particularly skilled at, will make delegating much easier and more rewarding.









Easing the Inbox

Does your inbox look like this?

Does your inbox look like this?

Remember the old business advice to never let the same piece of paper cross your desk twice? Meaning that each time you shuffled through the same stack to find something, each time you handled something you didn’t need in an effort to find something you did, was slowing you down and wasting your precious time. Productivity was at its peak when your desk was clear, allowing your undivided attention on the task at hand. Then came the email explosion.

Sure, you’ve been using email for years but in more recent times email has been almost completely replacing the paper forms, reports, summaries, receipts and newsletters. This is great news for those still struggling to count the number of times a piece of paper crosses their desk. But it can be terrible new for those who have yet to master their inbox.

We all want to be in the know and there is a sense of insider-knowledge/learning/expertise/etc that comes with all of that information. Compound that with not really having to touch any of it and it is easy to sign-up, subscribe and otherwise blow our inboxes to smithereens.