How do I get better at delegating?

I feel like I always have too much on my plate. How do I get better at delegating?

Any ideas or recommendations based on your past experience would be awesome.


I’m a big advocate for using virtual assistants. It allows you to learn to delegate in a lower risk environment, especially if you do project-based.

Even just having one on call will open your mind to what you can offboard.


I found this thread to be really helpful:

(David also teaches a management course through Maven)


I love this thread by Shreyas


Thanks for sharing these wonderful references!


What worked for some of our managers was having them write out what they do step by step and then giving that to someone else every time it came up.
The rule of thumb is that if you do it more than once, write it down, and make someone else responsible for it.
Do you often find yourself delegating some of the work and then “checking and fixing” a lot of what you delegated? might be a sign that you delegate small bits that don’t actually take much time and skill and it’s not making an impact


I really liked this series on this topic - short articles and all excellent:


The Plaid CTO also has some good tips. Essentially he says you need to be really clear about what your own role is and where you have the most impact, to make it clear what you should delegate. Then he has a nice piece on the who you should delegate to which involves pairing people up to solve problems. Here’s the article:


+1 on Sheyras’ thread by @KaranTrivedi. I’ll add the items that are in the upper right quadrant (high leverage but only you can do them) can be moved to the upper left quadrant (high leverage but various people can do them). This is accomplished through mentorship and training. Managers often overindex their unique abilities when in reality… if you learned them, you can teach them to others. :grinning:


I really like Shreyas’ framework as well. One of the challenges, though, is knowing how to delegate those tasks. For each task that you delegate, you’ll need to be acutely aware of the recipient’s capabilities and competencies. It’s okay to delegate tough tasks to others, but if they require your support to be successful, then you’ll need to factor that into your time.

When I delegate to somebody junior, I might take extra time to set up the foundation and create solid documentation about what they’ll need to do and what obstacles they may face. You’ll also want to be clear about check-in cadence and expectations. This will require some upfront work and a small ongoing commitment to the task.
While you can delegate some tasks and completely forget about them, some delegations will still require your time, so make sure you factor that in.


Simple answer… delegate!
Often we don’t delegate because we believe the job won’t get done well unless we do it. You can start small and see which employees rise to the challenge.
Remember if you have troubles delegating, your employees don’t know you as a delegator, so it is a learning experience for you both… Start small and grow.

1 Like

Wow thanks folks, I didn’t expect so many insightful perspectives!!! :heart_eyes:

@Carolyn, Looks like you’ve received a ton of great perspectives.
Here is a small one that I use:
“Small item just came in, I can knock it out…”
Even if I am the more reliable bet, I send it out. This is painful, because you are watching money + time go out the door. Still, this creates a positive feedback loop for training and ownership opportunities.