How to STOP working too much for too little return

11/01/2013 | Roger and Susie Engelau

If you’re like a lot of the entrepreneurs I work with every single day, you struggle with delegation.


And there are plenty of reasons why. Maybe you believe you can do the work better or faster than your team members. Maybe you’re not sure who to trust with an important job. Maybe you feel awkward asking. Or heck, maybe you pride yourself on being the kind of team leader who pitches in wherever necessary.


We’ve all been there.


But whatever your reasons for doing too much, if you want your business to succeed, I’ve got three simple words for you:


Let it go.




No matter how hard you work, you only have a limited amount of time. At some point, you run out of hours! And if you’re doing all the important tasks, that’s the moment when your business’ growth stagnates.


You see, when you delegate, you spend more of your time, talents, and expertise on work that truly moves your company forward…by freeing yourself from work that doesn’t.


What Should You Delegate?

First things first, you need to figure out exactly what to delegate. Start by taking inventory of the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis. For one week, write it all down, no matter how mundane (yes, this includes those “two-minute” tasks that might seem small…but add up fast). If you’re like most of my clients, the results will be pretty eye-opening!


Once you’ve got your list, review it carefully. Rate each task on a scale of 1-5, considering two criteria: fun and skill.


Low skill/low fun tasks are no-brainers to delegate. Hand them off immediately. They’re sucking your energy and wasting your time.


High skill/high fun tasks are your bread and butter. They represent your strengths and passions. The more you can stay in this category, the better.


Low skill/high fun tasks should probably be handed off, too, as much as you might want to keep them. You can always schedule in a little time each month to go back to them for fun, but don’t retain ownership of these.


High skill/low fun tasks show where you need to assemble a team of executives, leaders, advisors, and/or mentors who can supplement your weak areas with their strengths.


Most recurring tasks can be given to someone else. The list will look a little different for everyone, but here are the types of tasks that absolutely need to be delegated:


  • Answering the phone
  • Returning calls
  • Handling mail
  • Completing routine reports like expense reports, mileage logs, weekly production, etc.
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Running errands
  • Maintaining databases
  • Doing research
  • Bookkeeping and filing
  • Website design and maintenance
  • Social media daily/weekly posts, tweets, and blog posts
  • Eblasting and direct mail


Delegate the low-priority tasks so you can focus on the high-payoff, revenue-producing tasks like networking, meeting clients/prospects, forming strategic alliances, building centers of influence, and expanding into new markets. You also need to be doing tasks critical for long-term success—recruiting the right people for your team, strategic initiatives, conducting seminars, creating new products or services. Confidential issues or sensitive customer relationships are also on your shoulders.


The more you delegate, the better you’ll be able to grow your business and prevent stagnation. Start today. Your bottom line will thank you.


What about YOU? What are some of the tasks you delegate? How did you decide? Sound off in the comments below!