Should you be doing that?

One of the most valuable exercises you can do as a manager of a business is to look at all the tasks you do on a regular basis and ask yourself “should I be doing that?”

If you are like many others, you will find yourself doing many things that others in your organization can and should be doing. By doing a better job delegating responsibilities, it will allow you, and others, to get more work done.

Please understand, this isn’t about you trying to do less work, rather it’s about trying to work more efficiently.

I have a friend who is very talented but tends to get frustrated trying to delegate because she knows she can do things better than the people she is delegating to. So, rather than delegate, she tends to do much of the work herself. While the quality of her work is very good, she doesn’t get as much done as she should because she is doing things others could and should do and not doing the bigger picture work

Another thing to look at is whether some of what you are doing can be automated to save you time, without losing the personalization. A very simple example would be the way I handle email with some of my web design clients. Some of the ones we have monthly maintenance agreements with would send an email to me and then I would review and forward it on to the appropriate programmer. The problem with this is that until I read and forwarded the email, nothing would get done (admittedly, if I’m at my desk, this might only be a couple of minutes but if I’m in a meeting it could take hours). Instead, we have set up email rules so emails sent from certain clients are automatically forwarded to the appropriate person. This frequently results in the work being done before I ever see the email. I could have the client email the programmer directly but at that point it makes it difficult to keep track of how much time is being spent on each project plus it makes it more difficult to make sure everything is being done. Plus, I can reassign the project (so that instead of programmer A being in charge of an account, I can change the rule and have programmer B put in charge with the client never seeing a change). With multiple clients requesting changes on a daily basis, these rules allow us to get more done, more efficiently

How many things are you doing which could or should be done by others in order for everyone to be more efficient? Or how many things are you doing that could be automated to make everyone’s lives easier?

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