A productivity secret for #allthethings

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are many things that need to get done for your business to move forward. You can feel like you wear a million hats, and most days, it feels like there are five sitting on your head at once.

When you look at your project management tool or to do list, although you can see that you're making progress and cross something off, it seems like two or ten more items get added and you wonder how it will all get done.

As you look over your list, are there some items that you dread doing because you are not using your strengths, so you feel like you struggle to complete them? What happens to your other tasks and responsibilities when you are spending so much time and energy on a task that is draining you?

In order to lead your team or business, there will always be things that need to get done that you may not excel in doing. However, that does not mean that you must personally complete every item that your team or business needs to have done.

Your job as a leader and business owner is to ensure the team moves toward the vision while fostering an environment that values people.

Each person on your team brings a unique set of skills, experiences and abilities, and one way that exploits you as a constraint and shows your team that you value and trust them is to delegate.

When you delegate tasks that are aligned to a team member’s abilities, you are able to focus on other items that leverage your strengths or truly require your attention.

There are a few keys to delegating with success, and the first one is to match task to talent as much as possible. When someone is using their natural strengths, they are more productive, so be sure to get to know your team and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that if you assign someone to complete a task that isn’t leveraging their strengths, it may take longer for that person to accomplish the work.

Once you’ve decided to delegate a task, be sure to clearly communicate your expectations, the individual’s role and how it fits in the team or organization, and how you will hold him or her accountable.

Communicating more than what the task is, but why it needs to happen, by when, and why you’ve asked that person will ensure you both are on the same page. When you take the time to explain how the individual fits within the team or organization, the person will be able to spot more opportunities where they can support and will be inclined to take the initiative to do more.

No matter the importance of the task, when you delegate, you must hold yourself and the other person accountable.

If you said you were going to follow-up with them or asked them to provide a status to you by a certain date, be sure to follow through. Do what you said you would do. If you are on the receiving end of the task, ensure you keep your communication clear to the person who asked for your help. It shows them that you can be trusted and that you want to be involved.

What are tasks that you are holding onto that you would be better served to delegate or outsource?

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