Get Organized the Buttoned Up Way Through The Art of Delegation

If you’ve ever thought, there’s no way I can possibly get this all done, chances are, you’re probably right.

We’ve piled more on our plates today than ever before and yet, even though we’re frazzled and exhausted, sprinting from activity to activity, most of us rarely ask for help. There is a better way. By enabling others to take on some of the work, you’ll not only have a much lighter load, but you’ll give them the opportunity to stretch their full potential as well.

Sarah on ‘The Benefits’

‘In a recent survey conducted by Buttoned Up, we found that in nearly 75% of US homes, the responsibility for managing the entire household is shouldered by one person alone (and 68% of the time, it’s by an already busy, working mom). Delegating effectively can be a tough challenge but it is one well worth overcoming. Consider this: enlisting the help of your ‘team’ (spouse, children, roommates), will make all of you more efficient and happier. Doing everything by yourself demoralizes others because it robs them of the opportunity to add value with their own creative approaches to getting work done.’

Alicia on ‘Overcoming Hurdles’

‘Too often, we carry an unnecessarily heavy burden — holding on to and yes, controlling, everything. If you’ve ever done something like unload a loaded dishwasher that another has filled, only to put every glass, dish and bowl back in the ‘right way’ (sighing the entire time because it would have just been ‘faster’ if you did it ‘right’ the first time), you know what we’re talking about! Probably the most difficult hurdle for most of us when it comes to delegating is the short term pain associated with bringing another person up to speed on a particular task. It may seem faster and easier today to just do the task yourself — but over the course of a year — there really is no contest! If you don’t take the time to delegate, you’ll never have a lighter load.

Getting Buttoned Up Enough to Delegate

To enable someone else to do the job effectively, you must ensure three very important things.

#1: Provide clear instructions
It’s crucial that the person you are delegating a task to understand what it is they are expected to accomplish. You want to set them up to succeed. When you present the job, carefully explain the reasons why you are delegating the task including what you hope they will get out of doing it and how it helps you. By providing a little bit of context, you’re much less likely to come off as a dictator or a nag — and they’ll be much more inclined to get started. Once the person understands why they have been asked for their help, explain the task clearly along with the expected outcome and any deadlines. Make sure you are understood by soliciting questions and feedback/input.

#2: Empower the person
Now…let go! You should leave the individual plenty of room to accomplish the task — enabling them to add their own ingenuity and creativity into the mix. Everybody wins when better alternative approaches are introduced. Be there to provide support and answer questions when it’s needed, but don’t get too close or you’ll defeat the purpose of delegating in the first place.

#3: Reward a job well done
Check in with the person on a regular basis to let them know how they are doing and whether or not the objectives have been met. If things aren’t on track, work with them to understand why not and help them get back on track. But if they are on track, praise their efforts — positive reinforcement is an extremely powerful tool.