Delegation is a great way to increase your productivity and achieve more, especially if you have limited time available.

By delegating you handover or outsource tasks that someone else is better qualified, more skilled, can do quicker or has more time to do than you.

When you delegate, not only do you free up your time for the tasks only YOU can do but you also provide an opportunity for other people to grow and develop.

However, there is a tendency to ‘dump’ tasks rather than delegate. These are more likely to be the urgent tasks, you’ve left to the last minute or possibly, for a similar reason had ‘dumped’ on you.

Think about the following six points when you delegate or handover work to someone else.

What is the task being delegated? Work this out before you delegate a task. Give as much detail as needed and be clear and specific. Don’t assume they know or you’ll set them up for failure from the start and waste time when you don’t get the outcome you want or expect. Confirm they understand what’s expected.

Why is this task important? How does it fit into existing objectives and outcomes, their goals and the organisation as a whole? What is it’s priority and importance compared with anything else they might have planned?

When does this need to be done by? Give them a date, time when you need this task completed by or milestones reached. Allow plenty of notice so the person can plan it into their schedule. Check they’re not already committed to other work and have the time available.

Where can they go? Where are the people, information and resources they need to complete the task or get support?

How will it be done? What systems, processes, actions are required to complete the task and in what way. What resources do they need? Avoid being too prescriptive or seeing only ‘one way’ to do the task. There may be better ways if you allow some flexibility and creativity and focus on the end result not the specific method of achieving it.

Who is going to do this task? Do they have the time, the skills and the motivation to complete it in the time available. Are they the ‘right’ person for the job?

Keep these in mind and you’ll successfully delegate more of your tasks and free up more of your time.