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ATD Blog

The Art and Science of Delegation

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Decision fatigue is real, and it can have a serious impact on your performance as a business owner or manager of others. The idea that you can do everything without ever asking for help is bizarre, but that’s exactly what many small business owners try to do. The first step toward learning to delegate is realizing that there are other people who have greater expertise than you in many areas and that you can leverage those relationships to make them beneficial for everyone.

Those who try to go it alone are at risk of decision fatigue, and that can manifest as three main characteristics:

  1. Paralysis by analysis - you can actually become too stressed out to make a decision, leaving those choices to build up until they boil over.
  2. Overwhelmed and agitated - you may run the risk of running off anyone who might help you because you react poorly to being over-stressed.
  3. Instant gratification seeker - you may end up making a poor choice impulsively just to avoid letting it build up.

In order to avoid making these mistakes you have to learn to delegate, plain and simple. There’s no reason to do payroll yourself, for instance, if you that’s not your specialty. It’s just another time suck that prevents you from being able to what you are best at. Start by looking for things you do that you could easily delegate to someone else, like cleaning, shopping, and payroll. Letting the little things go is the first step toward getting your decision-making mojo back.
The next step is to start delegating the larger things. This isn’t an easy thing to do, because sometimes you don’t have the right people on your team to begin with. You have to start by hiring the right team for the job. Don’t hire your next door neighbor’s son who just dropped out of school and just really needs to get out of the house. Hire people who have skills sets that are different from, but complimentary to, your own. When you have the right team you will be able to delegate tasks to the right person for the job and not just whomever is available at the moment.


There are also benefits of delegation that span beyond business owners and managers. When employees feel empowered to make decisions their overall job satisfaction is greater and they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

Learn more about the art and science of delegation from this infographic. What can you delegate today?

About the Author

Maggie Kimberl is a freelance writer and lover of infographics based in Louisville, Kentucky. You can find her on Twitter @LouGirl502.

1 Comment
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The Art and Science of Delegation: very very impressive.
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