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Productivity Secrets of Master Delegators

In order to be your most productive self, you have to be willing to hand over some work. Here are how masters of delegation let it go.

Productivity Secrets of Master Delegators
[Illustration: Burnt Toast Creative]
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Often the people who get the most done have mastered the tricky art of letting go of some of their work. If you’re having trouble delegating your never ending to-do list, take this advice from people who have mastered it.

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They have a to-don’t list.

It’s important to quickly identify tasks that aren’t worth your time. As a reminder, Fran Hauser, a partner at Rothenberg Ventures, keeps a running catalog of things she always hands off. “It’s really liberating once you set those filters,” she says. “It’s like a little formula.”

They are super clear with instructions.

“I have an Excel spreadsheet with roles and responsibilities,” says 18F Consulting’s Kara DeFrias. “For a particular task, these are the duties.”

They’re the right kind of supportive.

Delegating only works if your employees can handle it. “Part of it is letting them fail,” says DeFrias. “It’s a great opportunity to let people grow. I’ll often say, ‘Talk to me about the thought process that got you to this decision.’ It helps me understand what I did wrong in explaining the expectations.”

About the author

Jessica Hullinger is a London-based journalist who covers science, health, and innovation. She currently serves as a Senior Editor at TheWeek.com

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