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Paul Eze: Delegation – For a Healthy Work-Life Balance



There are literally thousands of articles out there on how to increase productivity at work and get more stuff done everyday. No matter how many strategies or ideas you get advised to employ in order to get more work done in less time, there is always a limit to what you can do. The single smartest advice on productivity, apart from being clear on what you are to do each day, is learning how to and what to delegate!

Does Productivity Have Relations With Working on More Tasks?
Many mistake productivity with the ability to do more tasks within the work period. Productivity can be hardly restricted to volume of work done.

To get a clearer idea on what this article is about, you need to see productivity as the rate of quality work done and not just volume of work done. The earlier you disconnect from thinking that to be productive you must do so much more the better. To be productive focus on the things that matter. If you are a business owner do stuff that affects the bottom-line positively.

A freelancer or self employed should focus more energy on doing things that increase income flow directly or indirectly. When you are working for an organisation you ought to know which of your work impacts most on the organisation’s numbers and do those more.

Getting the Best From Delegation
Delegation isn’t something you should do indiscriminately. Also delegation isn’t something you do to only juniors at the office. To become highly productive and an A-list performer you should learn to delegate both at home and in the office. Now this calls for careful and smart strategy; as you are not just going to dump work on everyone else so you’ll have very little to do. That leads us to thinking of what to delegate.

Think About What to Delegate
The key to delegation is getting it right on what to and what not to delegate. Below we look at the key stuff that you should be better off delegating so you can free up the time to invest in pursuing more tangible duties and tasks that will have high impact on your career growth and income.

Delegate Aspects of Your Personal Life that Waste Your Time Without Adding Value
Now this doesn’t mean you become lazy in doing certain house chores. This especially will make good idea for unmarried working individuals. Do you run a side gig apart from your daily job yet barely find time to nurture that gig to appreciable income levels? Do you feel some work you do at home affects your performance in the workplace? These then are signs you need to look critically at some house work you could delegate.

Office Work Delegation
At the office here are tips on what you should find someone else do for you (if possible).

Delegate Challenging Activities
I use the case of a young graduate that joined a technology company as a junior team member on trial in the operations and logistics department. A very small part of his duties entailed doing work that were both physically challenging and tiring sometimes, such as ensuring the dispensers were refilled e.t.c. Sometimes, he felt this affected his ability to do his main work. Now it was almost impossible to delegate his work (he was practically the most junior person on the team; so you see how tough it can be to delegate if you aren’t the boss).

However, he found a way; he delegated to the outside. He thought of a solution and got an errand boy to do all his collection, deliveries and physical runarounds. In a few weeks he became familiar with what his logistics schedule was like everyday; he got the boy (his new personal assistant) to handle his less fancied work promptly ahead of time. Now he could spend more time at his desk doing more work on his computer system. The little arrangement meant he accomplished more of the system tasks he was given and his manager no doubt was impressed at his pace of work. The cost of delegation? only a few hundred Naira per week.
He certainly was offered a full appointment on expiration of his trial period. It appeared he passed satisfactorily the test of competence and ability to cope.

Delegate Low Value, High Work Activities
Have you ever come in contact with work that takes so much time to complete but ultimately is almost meaningless in the value it brings. Welcome to high volume, low value work. Sometimes the work may have value but this value is dependent on a lot of other things that it’s almost lost.

If you can find a way to shove these sort of tasks onto another poor fellow please do. Unless you enjoy doing them then by all means you can continue.

Delegate Work You Absolutely Don’t Enjoy Doing
Now in almost every job description there is one or two tasks/duties that we don’t enjoy doing at all. We never like to do them; in fact if left alone we may not even touch them but we have to do them because the management or the boss says so.

Find someone who probably will enjoy such work or someone who can help you do them for the cost of a few recharge cards and delegate quickly. Always be sure you don’t announce to your boss the fact that you delegate some minor tasks.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Christopher Halloran


  1. ese

    October 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    i can so relate to this………….

    i just started delegating some tasks to my new colleague in the team and workload has reduced a whole lot.

    nice write up.

  2. Ayaba

    October 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    For some reason the advice here doesn’t feel right to me. So the one whom you are delegating your work to, doesn’t he/she have work of his/her own to do?

  3. Ibe N

    October 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I will adopt this soon.

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