Delegate to Improve your Time Management

Delegate to free yourself up and improve your time management. Reduce your workload, become more efficient and feel less stressed by delegating. The further you advance in your career the more precious your time is.

Challenges that impact on time management

Too many executives focus on operational matters instead of at a strategic level. This impacts significantly on your time management. Then again professionals in a law firm for example, need to clock up a number of cases per month. So they need to work efficiently.  Most people in business these days feel stressed and experience work overload.

Why are you not delegating?

There may be good reasons why you delegate less than you could. Perhaps your team is young in experience and lacks knowledge and skills.

You may trust yourself more to complete a task. Are you a perfectionist and want work done your way? Do you prefer to do a task than having to explain to someone what needs to be done? Perhaps a specific project is a high profile task which means you need someone qualified to do it. Or is it hard to let go and allow someone else to step up to more responsibility?

So revisit the possible reasons for not delegating. Some may be quite valid. But perhaps you realise that delegating could push you out of your comfort zone.

What must you think about first?

Consider how urgent or complicated the task is. What needs to be achieved? Who in your team has the necessary expertise and motivation to take on the work?

It is important to ensure there is a good match between what the task requires and what the person has to offer. Unless this is the case your time management could suffer because you may need to step in at a later stage.

Structure the task

Be clear on the end result you expect and the time in which this needs to be reached. Check with the employee how they intend to approach the project. Where they lack experience, provide guidance on the steps they can follow.

Build in checks along the way: at what stage would they consult you regarding their progress? If you are new to delegating, you may initially monitor progress more often to ensure the project is on track.

Larry is learning to delegate. He has made a few classic errors so far: his communication is a bit vague. So his employees often do not know what exactly is expected of them. A great deal of time is wasted going back to him to clarify what he expects. It seems at times he is not even clear! As a result this leads to confused team members.

Furthermore, he assumes that once he has delegated a task it will be done. Some employees manage to complete their tasks. However, others are side tracked by their own work commitments.

In several cases clients have been extremely unhappy because Larry’s team failed to monitor the quality of their work. This meant Larry had to do crisis management which placed his company in a very poor light with some clients. This had a significant negative impact on his personal time management.

Lessons to learn

Delegation does not mean abdication. It remains your role as manager to monitor progress as well as the quality of the work. So do dip checks at regular intervals. This gives you time to take corrective action before the final deadline.

Know your team members well. Models such as Situational Leadership enable you to assess team members according to their level of competence and motivation. You can then adapt your style of management accordingly.

Be clear on your requirements and communicate these so that employees know what is expected of them.

Let go of your need to do everything yourself.


Effective delegation is a very useful way of improving time management at work. So actively pursue ways to draw on others to achieve business objectives. Many individuals thrive on having more responsibility.

If you would like to delegate more consciously as a means to improve your time management, consider career coaching sessions.



Posted in Business, Management.