Overwhelmed? It may not be a bad thing. Part 2

By Christina Suter on Aug 01, 2013 at 06:27 AM in Business Issues

Stress Little boySo the next step is deciding what to delegate or outsource. What’s the process to figure out what you can outsource? First, make a list of all your strengths related to business. Second, figure out your nature. I suggest you do this by writing a list of what you currently do with your time. If you find that you’re having trouble remembering because your day is extremely busy, try this exercise: while you're working, set a timer at every hourly interval for a week and write down a few short, simple sentences about what you’ve been doing for the last hour. You’ll find within these items there are things necessary for the business to run, with or without you. Mark them. Next, circle those things which require your specific expertise (it may not even be the whole task). And finally, highlight what you like to do with your job.


With this information, first look at what you like to do and then look at those things that require your expertise and see if they are money-makers for you. These things I suggest you keep and not delegate. Everything else, you can think about how to delegate. For example, if you like doing bookkeeping, then keep doing it. But if you don’t like doing bookkeeping or it’s not your highest strength, you can use a relatively simple system to delegate it, such as putting notes on everything so your bookkeeper knows what it is.


Before delegating however, you need to figure out what needs to be done to delegate the task. This involves defining the task — almost like a protocol. Define the possibilities a task may involve and make notes on how to handle them for your assistant. For example, returning a phone call. You could break this down based on who needs an immediate response and who doesn’t. Then write down how you would handle those phone calls.


Focus on delegating one process, and figuring out its protocol, one at a time. Once you’ve got enough hours to delegate, I’d suggest delegating to a virtual assistant first. Work with them to fine-tune the protocols so that you can produce a final version. Once you’ve got 20 hours a week you can delegate, then I’d suggest hiring an in-house part-time assistant.