Most contractors can relate to wearing too many hats, especially in the early years of running their own businesses. It may be fine at first, but when a company begins to grow and expand into new areas, owners can feel stretched in many directions. At the end of a day, they may look back and wonder why they didn't get everything done, even though they worked well into the evening.
If you are good at what you do, people will continue to demand your attention, which can add to your workload, increase your stress levels, and keep you from making progress in developing your company.
One solution for wearing too many hats is delegation. The purpose of delegation is to free up your time so you can focus on other important aspects of your business. This can be one of the hardest things for a contractor to do. Some of the reasons you may talk yourself out of delegating:
You worry that you won't find anyone who can do the job as well as you can.
It is easier to do it yourself than to train someone.
You don’t have time.
The up-front effort cannot guarantee long-term results.
You feel the need to maintain control.
Assigning your work to someone else may bring a feeling of insignificance.
To begin, I suggest tracking your daily tasks and the amount of time you spend on each. After doing this for a few weeks, review your list. What tasks are not a good use of your time? What are some low-level tasks you can delegate? How much time could you free up if you passed these tasks to someone else? What else could you be doing, like developing new ideas and strategies, that you haven't been able to get to?
Delegating should not be looked at as a project, but instead as an ongoing process. It is entrusting a job or responsibility to another person who is acting as your representative. Matching employees with work tasks can develop into a great skill. Below are some key elements to consider when delegating to your employees:
As you delegate tasks, thank affected employees for taking on new responsibilities. Show the confidence and trust you have in them. Check in at times, but don’t micromanage. Most of all, be patient and understanding. New hats often need a little adjusting at first, but you may soon find that it fits just fine.