If you’re anything like me, then you know that on certain days you’ll feel like there just isn’t enough time and it’s hard to use your time effectively. You wake up, work frantically on a million different things, and are still hard-pressed for time to accomplish everything you need to do.
So what is the solution to this dilemma?
The answer is to delegate your work and manage your time. Every business owner and freelancer needs the ability to delegate work in order to accomplish everything without going crazy from stress. The importance of managing time can’t be overstated.
Delegation is one of the most important strategies for success. But it’s not an easy skill to master. Being able to delegate successfully means that you’re able to be completely hands off. This frees yourself from micromanaging, and provides you with more flexibility and time to lead at a higher level. Stop bothering yourself with the tiny details and start thinking broader and more critically. Here are some tips to help you delegate your work:
- Provide concise and understandable instructions.
When delegating, always include very clear instructions about what you need done, how you want the project completed, and when you need it finished. A team is only as good as their leader, and if you fail to mention your expectations clearly, you’ll be left with having to touch up the work yourself at the end.
- Communicate and consistently check-in.
One of the simplest ways to delegate is to use good communication. Communicate your needs clearly to whoever is helping with your work. Communicate frequently so there will never be any unexpected surprises. Make sure you establish check-in dates to hold your workers accountable, but don’t check-in unexpectedly unless you want to potentially see a mess or come across as a micromanager.
- Give feedback.
The type of feedback you provide your team can be what makes or breaks an assigned project. Know that constructive feedback is important, but so is providing enough warmth for someone to feel comfortable with being vulnerable with you. Vulnerability equals trust, and if your workers know they can be vulnerable with you, then they can admit when they’re in over their heads and ask for help.
Being proactive and tackling a problem before it happens by giving feedback is one of the best ways to save time. If you’re always critiquing without a positive flare, you’ll find that you’ll be faced with stoic workers who aren’t able to forecast their abilities. Give feedback that illuminates exactly what needs to be done, but be sure to give positive feedback.
Never underestimate the importance of time management. Sometimes it seems impossible to finish the million things that you have going on. By finding ways to manage your time, you will find it much easier to get all of your work done. Because time management is so important, you should try out different techniques to find the one that works for you.
- Create a Schedule (& Finish What You Start!)
Try managing your time by writing out a schedule of how you will spend your workday. Once you can see on paper how your day looks, you will be able to plan your time more effectively.
- Check out the App Store
You can find many time-management apps that will help you optimize your schedule. A few good ones we like are Tomighty, Pomodorium, and Trello.
- Make a Time Plan
Create a list of all of your priorities, but include an estimate of how long they’ll take. Don’t forget to plan for tasks that are unrelated to work, like bathroom breaks and lunch. Add in a cushion of time — say, 15 to 30 minutes — for any unplanned surprises that might come up.
- Plan Some Fun Too!
So far all we’ve talked about is work, work, work. Sure, work is important and absolutely necessary, but all too often it seems that work is the only thing in life that matters. But the truth is that planning time for fun activities is also vital for a work-life balance. Even if you are an up-and-coming entrepreneur who feels the need to work constantly, you will burn out quickly if you don’t give yourself some time for relaxation (I touched on this in one of my earlier blogs!). So when working out your schedule, make sure to plan for some rest, relaxation, and fun!