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When Delegating Work Is Not An Option

Originally posted: January 21, 2014 on TrishMcFarlane.com

workThere are a lot of benefits to working your way up the corporate ladder.  I have to admit that having some of the best professional assistants and also HR team members has made my life more fulfilled and given me the opportunities to focus on some of the largest business challenges I’ve tackled.

I can remember early on as a manager, my boss told me that I needed to learn to trust and delegate.  I used to hold on to every shred of work I viewed as important (and likely many that really were not that important).  I made a conscious effort over the years to really delegate some of the meaty interesting work to team members, not so that I could offload things like making copies, but so that they could learn how to grow and develop.

The real challenge becomes working without a team when there is no ability to delegate.  Whether you are in a role where you are more of a lone wolf or if you have not been promoted to lead a team, what are some of the keys to working efficiently when you have no one to delegate work to so that you can be productive?

  • Hire an intern-  It may take a bit of money, but you can find students willing to work with you just for the experience and sometime, a little spending money.  They can be exceedingly curious and helpful when getting you though some of the more task-related parts of your day.
  • Partner up-  Find someone else at your level or if working from home, someone who also works from home.  Agree to help each other a couple hours a week.  This will free you both up when you need that extra time to focus on the big projects.
  • Pay for services-  Don’t let things like errands, house-cleaning, or shopping get in the way of the real work.  There are many services you can use to take care of cleaning, groceries, dry cleaning pick-up, etc.  USE them.  It will be worth the spend.
  • Eliminate the unneeded-  This is one of the hardest parts.  Look at the things you do each day that could be completely eliminated.  Now, get rid of those.  Also, if there are meetings you regularly attend that you don’t need to, beg off those.  If there are things coming your way that really shouldn’t (as part of your job), redirect those to the proper destination.  Be firm.

What other ways have you found to focus on the important work when you have no ability to delegate?

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