Today’s Productivity Tip: Improve Your Delegation

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Personal planning tips Jump Start Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we feature a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s tip: Improve Your Delegation

Many times people are hesitant to use delegation as a means for better productivity, because they fear the negative consequences of putting their work in someone else’s hands.

However, the old “do it yourself if you want it done right” mentality will leave you suffering under piles of work. Here’s a good method for improving your delegation:

Try this:

Ask yourself “What am I doing this week that doesn’t have to be done by me?” Think of people — co-workers, your spouse, even your kids — who might have better time or resources to help you. Before delegating, always be certain that you offer a specific, detailed explanation, and never hand off the project until you have discussed:

a) expectations

b) deadline

Here’s why:

When you use delegation, you should pass on the work but you continue holding responsibility for the outcome. By setting up the appropriate expectations, you are improving the likelihood of getting equally good results as if you had done it yourself. Furthermore, you’re not wasting other people’s time.

[photo by clogozm]

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at

4 thoughts on “Today’s Productivity Tip: Improve Your Delegation

  1. Thanks Jeff, it’s a great tip, and it focuses on one of the most important aspects that I teach my clients: when delegating, it’s about the result, not about the how. By asking only for a result, we empower the other person, and increase the likelihood that it will be done well.

    1. Karin, you are so right — expectations are commonly overlooked when we delegate. Ultimately, you the person who delegates will be responsible. I’m glad you commented.

      – Jeff

  2. I like this tip. Sometimes it’s about relinquinshing control. Some people just don’t want to let go and let others help, but will then complain because they have to do it all, it’s a “no win” for innocent bystanders.

    1. Yes Leslie, relinquishing control is a difficult step. But, if you see delegation as a powerful resource or tool, it only makes your productivity stronger.

      — Enjoy your time, Jeff

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