Make Your Own Damn Sandwich, Part 1

(As previously seen on the HelaWrite blog.)

Make Your Own Damn Sandwich: Knowing When TO Delegate

Delegation is a much discussed topic, and still many leaders, employers, and business owners have yet to master the “art” of delegation. And it’s not for a lack of resources. Google “the art of delegation” or “how to delegate,” and you’ll get pages and pages of pertinent search results. Some articles even hail from the Harvard School of Business and Forbes.

Yet, knowing WHEN to delegate is entirely different than actually delegating. We can read about this so-called art form till the Zombie Apocalypse, but if we  never identify the situations in which we should actually act upon delegating, we’ll be stuck in micro-manager and burnout mode. 


Here’s my take on how to identify those circumstances in which you should delegate:

  1. If someone can do it better. This is a no-brainer. If there is a team member or freelancer who is better than you at a particular task that needs to get done, give the task to them. It saves you time, makes you look good, and will get done right the first time.
  2. If the task or project takes away from what you’re really good at. As your career develops, you begin to identify the things in which you really shine–the strengths that you have which greatly contribute to your business. Don’t engage in projects that are a mismatch for your strengths and amplify your weak areas. Instead, find someone who can do said task and let them tackle it.
  3. If you just don’t know how to do it (and shouldn’t waste time learning how). Sometimes, it’s a good thing to learn a new skill for our job. But other times, it’s just a bad idea. If you are crunched for time and want to be efficient in getting something done, delegate the unknown to someone who knows how.
  4. If delegating will make you and your brand better. If you can afford to hire an expert, then do it! Give a job to someone who can partner with you and your company, making you look good while you focus on other important tasks.
  5. If you need (more) time to get essential things done. Just because you can do something (or many things) doesn’t mean that you should. Part of brand-building includes being efficient. And being efficient often means appropriately delegating tasks to others. Find someone you trust to get the job done and focus on the other things that matter most to your brand and your message.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at when NOT to delegate, so be sure to come back for that.

What are some ways you’ve learned how to know when to delegate? Feel free to share in the comments.

Articles to read that are about the art of delegation:

6 Tips to Master the Art of Delegation by Nellie Akalp

Be a Healthy Leader, Master The Art Of Delegation by Amanda Ebokosia

The Art of Delegation: 11 Ways to Work Smarter Today by Emily Copp