May 17, 2024

How to take a break from your business 6: decide what to delegate

One reason it’s impossible for you to take a break could be that you, the founder, the boss, are the only person able to execute certain parts of your larger Share Promise or Keep Promise process.

So if you want to change your own ability to take breaks, you’re going to have to change the ability of at least one other person in your team (and preferably two) to play your parts in the business.

In other words, you need to delegate.

For a short break, you probably don’t need to delegate any of Share Promise. Whatever is in your pipeline will probably continue to move along without you. So the only thing you might want to do is to make sure the pipeline is full enough before you go away.

Which leaves Keep Promise – what you do to deliver on the promises you’ve made to the people who’ve enrolled with you – as the place to concentrate your thinking on delegation.

Here’s a really simple tool you can make for yourself, to decide which bits of what you do to delegate first:

On a sheet of paper, or a google-doc, or spreadsheet, set up these column headings:

Activity | Priority | Can I schedule it out? | Who else could do it? | Sketched | Practised | Handed over

Next, under Activity, list out up to 7 activities that you carry out as part of keeping promises to clients. Keep these fairly high-level, such as ‘send welcome email’ ‘raise invoices’, ‘set up client’, ‘hold progress review’.

Prioritise the Activities in terms of importance to the business. Getting paid could be top, or perhaps it should be ‘send welcome email’? You decide.

Now, for each Activity, think about whether you could simply re-schedule the next one, two or few occurrences around your holiday? Perhaps a client is also planning to be away, so would be happy to re-organise a progress meeting? Or maybe you could get all expected new clients set up before you leave? Put your answers, Yes or No, in the ‘Can I schedule it out?’ column. If you are able re-schedule, remember to put these activities into your calendar so they can be protected by the calendar app you installed in Step 1.

The idea here is to reduce your list of Activities down to just those you really must delegate.

For the Activities you’re left with, think about who else in your team could do it. Who do you normally pass the baton to in the overall process? Who do you take the baton from? These people are good candidates for delegatees.

Leave the last three columns blank.

Once you’re happy with (hopefully) the short list of activities you’ve ended up with, you’re ready for the next step, which is to work through them one by one, and with the help of your delegatee, describe them.

That’s for next time.

Discipline makes Daring possible.