In this video and article, I have put together 25 tasks to delegate today.
What Kinds of Tasks to Delegate?
So what kinds of tasks should you delegate? Here are a few to consider:
- routine tasks
- tasks others can do as well or better than you
- any task that keeps you from doing the key things that only you can do
An example of this is if you’re the owner of a company you need to be focusing on the top level planning and vision and client connections rather than the detailed day-to-day work of the company that others can do as well as you.
The first of the tasks to delegate I want to talk about is scheduling. There are a lot of logistics around scheduling, it’s very time-consuming and can be very complex.
So it’s a real benefit to have somebody else do this for you. Another huge benefit to having somebody else manage your schedule and that you are creating a gatekeeper. With a gatekeeper protecting your time and schedule, people may not be bothering you as frivolously since they know they have to justify to the gatekeeper why they need to see you at that time.
It makes better use of your time when somebody else is managing your schedule for you because in some cases that gatekeeper might be able to answer the questions or get the information to people and then you didn’t even have to have the meeting at all.
So give some serious thought to having your scheduling handled by somebody else.
#2 General Administrative Tasks
General administrative tasks are great tasks to delegage because they are time consuming and usually don’t have to be done by you.
General administrative tasks might include:
- filling out expense forms
- providing information
- creating notes or minutes from meetings
- out of office errands
This kind of administrative work is not the best use of your time so have somebody somebody else take care of that for you.
#3 Travel Planning
Let someone else find you the best rates on the travel, the right hotels and everything else to make sure that your trip goes great. Someone who can focus on the planning for your trip will to a better job than you trying to squeeze it in between your high level tasks.
#4 Telephone Screening
In addition to having people as gatekeepers for your schedule it’s also a great idea to have people screening your telephone calls.
Screening your calls makes you look more professional and in many cases your screener might be able to help the person and get them simple information right away instead of them having to wait for you to call them back. It saves you time and creates better customer service if a more junior staff members able to get the client the help they needed right now.
#5 Email Screening
Email is most people’s biggest complaint when it comes to productivity. Just like telephone screening, you can also have somebody screen your emails.
They can sort your email by priority, filter all the emails that are just for future reading into a reading folder, and again they can answer simple requests for info so that you don’t have to waste your time replying to simple emails.
#6 Customer Service
Let’s face it. Your customers deserve to have a bright cheerful person who has the dedicated time and focus to help them instead of waiting for help from the harried, overworked, overwhelmed boss who is trying to get back to them but who has far too much on their plate.
It makes far more sense to have a dedicated person who’s got the time to give the customer the help they deserve and they can still request your expertise on queries that they haven’t learned how to handle yet.
#7 Data Entry
Data is important but data entry is a detail task better given to someone with dedicated time and focus to enter the data as error- free as possible. Data entry is not something you should be wasting your time doing as a junior staff member can do this faster and more accurately than you can.
You’re probably not a professional bookkeeper. A professional bookkeeper will catch errors you might miss and can use their experience to find problems you didn’t know you had.
Even if you are a professional bookkeeper and own your own accounting firm you should not be doing the accounting for your clients. You’re the owner of the firm, you’re the person building the relationships, landing the new clients. You should be having your junior staff take care of that detail work while you do the big picture work they can’t.
#9 Accounts Receivable and Invoicing
Invoicing and accounts receivable are related to the bookkeeping of course and again this is detail work better handled by people who are good at detail work and who have the time to focus on it.
In many cases it’s easier for someone following up an accounts receivable to ask for payment on an invoice than it is for the sales person who’s got the client relationship. The sales person feel kind of bad asking for money but your junior staff can just be checking in about overdue invoices and the client knows they are just a junior staff person responsible for following up.
#10 Internet Research
Any typeof research tasks are great tasks to delegate but Internet research is like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland – once you go down you may never get out!
So get somebody else to do the research for you and give you a report on the best options for whatever you’re looking at. If you don’t have anybody in house consider outsourcing this kind of research to get somebody else to do it.
#11 Marketing Tasks
Marketing is a key function in most companies and it’s really important to have marketing tasks done right. Marketing consists of lots of detail tasks which are great tasks to delegate. There’s content development, social media, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns, and tons of other things to take care of.
You likely aren’t an expert in all of these so hire someone who is an expert. If you are an expert in all these areas then train somebody else to do the detail work. Once again you should not be doing it these are detail tasks that take you away from the important top-level thinking, connection-building and planning you need to be doing.
#12 Graphic Design
I’m always happy to outsource graphic design because my graphic design skills suck!
But even if you are an excellent graphic designer with your own business again you should not be doing any more graphic design work because your team should be doing the work while you focus on the higher end connections and business building.
#13 Website Updates
I am continually uploading new content to my website to keep my readers interested and to improve search engine traffic. Uploading new content and updating websites is work easily done by a junior staff person or a virtual assistant to save you time.
#14 Content Development
In addition to uploading my content to my website, my virtual assistant can also help me create content. You can hire a virtual assistant or content writer to:
- research articles
- write simple articles
- transcribe audio files of speaking engagements or workshops you’ve presented at
#15 Proposal Writing
Proposal writing is a critical task that is very time consuming. There is a lot of detail work involved. Hiring a skilled writer to work with you will improve your proposals and save you time. Consider creating your proposals in modules so you can assemble proposals based off prior proposals – it makes them go a lot quicker the next time.
#16 Human Resources
Human resources includes a lot of tasks to delegate relating to:
- benefits management
- performance management and more
These tasks are not usually a central focus for a top-level manager so in most cases, you should be hiring human resource professionals to take care of this important area.
Programming is almost the definition of detail work! Once again you want to have hire people for programming and automation even if you are a programmer yourself who runs your own business.
#18 Process Documentation and Checklists
Whenever I start a new task or project, I always start by creating a checklist. Creating a checklist first helps me with future projects and helps me train other people so I eventually have my virtual assistant or other workers taking over the tasks from my checklist.
If it’s a new task I have my virtual assistant create the new checklist as well. I also have them document processes and places like OneNote and Notion and I use Loom which is a video capture to capture what I’m doing online and then they save those so my virtual assistants can follow them in future.
#19 Filing and Organizing
If ANYTHING should be delegated, it is filing and organizing. Filing is definitely something others can do as well or better than you. Get somebody else to manage your filing and organization of your office. Get them to come in every couple of days to do filing and maybe once a week to clean up your office. Just get this off your plate – it’s not the best use of your time. Having a big pile of filing you think you’ll get to some day it is just not worth it.
#20 Social Media Updates
Social media has become an important way that people share and get information and news. You want your social media channel to be fresh with new interesting messages happening on a regular basis. Hire somebody who’s got a bright cheery social media voice get them to create a series of pre-scheduled messages. You can then approve the messages before they go out so you don’t have embarrassing content posted publicly like many like many political figures are doing right now.
#21 Blog Updates
Blog posts are a great way to provide useful information to your readers and to attract new followers. And they work great for SEO (search engine optimization). Once again, creating regular articles, infographics, videos and other content for your blog are great tasks to delegate to others.
#22 Birthday & Anniversary Reminders
Loved one’s milestones such as birthdays and anniversarys are critical to remember, but really easy to forget. Have someone else set up a system for you so that you never forget these important dates again. The reminders can include enough notice to allow you to purchase amazing gifts or to create truly spectacular experiences.
#23: Personal Errands
Need your drycleaning picked up? Dog taken to the vet? Someone to shop for upcoming birthdays and anniversaries? Delegate these tasks to a personal assistant. All these key things will get done and you free up time for other, more important things.
#24: Tech Issues
We have become totally dependent on our computers and smartphones to get through our work day and personal life. So when they break down, this has a huge impact on our productivity. Most of us aren’t computer or smartphone repair people, so it makes no sense for us to be the ones trying to get them to work. My rule of thumb is that if I can’t find a solution in about 20 minutes, I take the offending device to a professional and don’t waste my time on it. I do have a laptop as a backup to my work computer, so I am able to pass the problem off quickly and get back to work with minimal loss of productivity while a tech wizard works their magic.
#25: Event Planning
Event planning is a LOT of work. Venue rental, food, music, activities, invitations and much more. Far too much for most of us to handle. So either hire a professional event planner or pass it off to that person in your organization who loves to plan events and is excellent at it.
No One to Delegate to?
When I bring up tasks to delegate to others, many people say “Garland, I am not a manager so I have no one to delegate to.” So here are a few ideas when you have no one to delegate to:
- Swap Work – consider swapping some work with a colleague. Perhaps you are a whiz at numbers but are poor at writing sales letters. Your colleague in sales is great at sales letters, but not so great at sales reports. So you each swap your services so you are both working to your greatest strengths.
- Freelancers – you can easily hire freelance people online to take care of a variety of tasks like writing, programming, graphic design, etc.
- Virtual or Assistant – consider hiring a virtual assistant (works online, not in your office) to do research, data entry and some basic work for you remotely.
- Personal Assistant – hire or use a personal assistant to take care of your personal errands.
More Help with Tasks to Delegate
If you need more help learning to delegate successfully, here are some options:
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