The Art of Delegation: 5 Ways to Delegate & Save Time

Delete. Defer. Delegate. Distribute. 

Let’s start there. Over the seven years I’ve run a small business, I’ve learned a thing or two. Let’s be honest, if I didn’t learn how to delegate, I would probably not have made it this far. Who knows? What I do know is that you can’t do it all, and you’ll be much more able to run your business when you shift responsibilities. 

Delete. What’s really necessary? Do you really have to do that thing? If you don’t, save yourself time and don’t waste another minute on it. 

Defer. What has to be done today? What can be set aside for a later date? Save time by keeping your priorities in order.

Delegate. What can you hand off to somebody else? Share the wealth (and responsibility). Hire a copilot. Outsource your accounting (no, seriously). Let your team pick up some of the slack. 

Distribute. Rinse and repeat. Open your lines of communication, organize your tasks, and ensure everybody knows what they’re doing and when they’re doing it. 

Now let’s get into six ways delegating can save you time. Big time. 

1. Streamline your workflow

Delegating will be easier. So much easier when your workflow makes sense. The quickest way to stall your delegation process is for the inner workings of your business to be muddled and all over the place. Get organized. Define your areas of focus. As the Notorious RBG would say, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” 

Step one is getting your operations in order.

  • What departments exist at your company? 
  • Who runs them? 
  • What do you automate? How do you do it?   
  • What software do you use? How do you use it? 
  • What needs to happen every week to keep the doors open? 
  • Are all aspects of your business accounted for? Accounting? Marketing? Biz dev? Sales?   
  • How do your departments interface with each other? 

Think of it as a web. Delegation starts with understanding how it all connects. If this isn’t your jam, let’s chat. We love this stuff. Organizational infrastructure geeks us out and we’re pretty good at simplifying and finding scalable solutions.

2. Bundle/batch responsibilities

Once you’ve gained clarity on the daily operations at your business, bundle/batch responsibilities. Let’s talk through an example: marketing. 

Here are example marketing buckets:

  • Account & Project Management—client relations, project organization, team comms
  • Strategy—content or design direction, high-level goals, analytics
  • Creative—copywriters and designs who bring the vision to life 
  • Quality assurance—editing to ensure quality and consistency 
  • Execution—scheduling, posting, etc. 

You can get really granular with this. Delegate by the client. Bundle by type of work i.e. Designer A works on all social media graphics. Or copywriter B does all emails.  

Your goal should be to understand everyone’s strengths and provide them the opportunity to succeed and do work in their Zone of Genius. If you’d like help creating this game plan, we’d be happy to chat!

What works best for your company? That’s the way forward. 

3. Identify strengths and skillsets 

You’ll save a ridiculous amount of time by identifying your team’s strengths and skillsets and leveraging them to get work done. Even better, support their development because it’s a gift that keeps giving back to your business in the form of efficient, high-quality contributions. 

Once you know what your people are good at, delegate tasks to them that capitalize on those skills. Do you have a project manager that has a knack for seeing the big picture? Pull them in on strategy-related tasks. Maybe their long game is becoming an account strategist. There’s a win-win for everybody.

See your people. Really see them. If you see them, you can delegate more effectively, saving time that would be lost putting the right people on the wrong tasks. The book, Multipliers by Liz Wiseman is really great when it comes to this topic. Highly recommended.

4. Assign ownership 

Delegation is far more effective when you assign a point person. Without role definition, you risk:

  • Communication breakdowns
  • Delayed deadlines
  • Low-quality output
  • Wasted time
  • Repeated work

And ultimately…

The success of your business. 

When one person “owns” a task or bundle, the buck stops with them. They know they’re responsible and they’ll be more likely to act like they’re responsible. All those potential issues from the bullet points above? Gone. It’s fine for multiple people to be working on complementary tasks, but make sure there’s clear ownership. 

Mastering the art of delegation = you saving time. Another great book is The Art of Less Doing by Ari Meisel.

5. Reevaluate 

Delegation is an iterative process. Meaning, you keep doing it over and over again. And it’s a process you need to reevaluate at regular intervals. There are so many variables that can impact your delegation process. 

  • Industry changes
  • Economic changes
  • Personal changes
  • Employees pursuing new opportunities 
  • New employees or contractors  
  • Product or service launches 
  • Social changes 
  • New partnerships
  • And more

Bottom line: changes can impact your business, and that trickles down to your delegation process. Whenever a big change happens, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I still have the right people on the right tasks? 
  • Do I need to recreate my batches/bundles? 
  • Did roles shift and do I need a new point person? 
  • Is our workflow seamless or does it need some tweaking? 

Adjust when necessary. You’ll save time when you make your delegation process fluid and let it evolve over time. 

Master the art of delegation

Delegation is one of the best tools to have in your toolbox as you continue your business journey. When you master the art of delegation, workflow just flows, your people operate at the top of their games, and your business has a better chance of reaching the level of success you’ve dreamed of. 

A small business coach can help you optimize your delegation process, saving you countless hours in the process. As an entrepreneur, getting even a few hours back in your schedule can be an absolute gamechanger. So let’s get you your time back! Schedule a Discovery Call today.