The Art Of Delegating

To be frank, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get sh*t done. Whether you’re a working mum trying to shuttle a Kia Carnival full of kids to Milo Cricket, or a marketing manager juggling a dozen brands at an awesome advertising agency, being able to delegate jobs before you’re elbow-deep in not-done to-do lists is a damn gift. But for many, delegating is hard because it feels like relinquishing control. Whether it’s a group assignment at uni or an important project at work, handing over the reigns can feel like conceding defeat. It can also stress you the heck out, because what if their work isn’t good enough?? The true defeat, however, is the stress-induced nervous breakdown you’ll have in the freezer aisle of Coles when you’re running on four hours’ sleep and a litre of Nescafe Blend 43, crying over a broken box of party pies. THIS is why learning the art of delegating is so important.

It’s all well and good to say that delegating is important, but how the heck do you actually do it? Well, the first thing I always do, is put together a really articulate, clear and comprehensive brief. (Side note: I won best brief-writer at Hedgehog Agency last month, so listen up). Briefs are super important, because they detail exactly what you and the client are after. Even though they take time to write, they actually SAVE you time in the long run. I make sure my briefs always eloquently express the job, the hours needed, the target audience and most importantly, the single-minded proposition. Another thing that I do, is truly understand my co-worker’s strengths- and I play to them. For example, I delegate certain tasks to each individual, depending on what they’re good at. Finally, it’s really important to have supportive bosses — and my bosses Ali and Josh (particularly Ali) are my inspiration in life. I really love her so much. I mean, how can one person be talented, funny, good at clapping and seriously good looking — all at the same time? She’s my idol. Anyway, I digress.

But how the heck do you get people to actually do the work? Because let’s face it, you’re not the only one who is busy. Well… manipulation is such an ugly word, but that’s essentially what it requires. So here are 7 ways you can manipulate people into doing your work.

1. Nagging and Prodding — “Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?”

Sometimes all it takes is a little nagging. Stay persistent. Keep asking the questions. Send them constant emails. Or even SMS’s. If you annoy someone enough, they will definitely get your work done*. Side note — be playful about it. You don’t want them to hate you.

2. Play the victim — “I have so much work on and all my clients are calling me and I just don’t know what to do!”

Sympathy seems like such a negative feeling. But if you use it to your advantage, and play the sympathy card to the right person, I guarantee your work will be pushed to the front of the queue.

3. I’m on your side — “It’s really unfair for you to have to do all of this yourself. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.”

Even if it’s your work that they’re doing, let them know that you’re with them every step of the way (even if you aren’t).

4. Play to their ego — “You’ll be able to do it so much better than me!”

Make them feel superior to you. Not only will you boost their confidence, but you’ll also get them to do your work too.

5. Be intimidating — “Get it done… or else.”

If you don’t feel like boosting their ego, you can boost your own by making them fear you. This won’t be great for morale in the long run though, and it certainly won’t do anything for your popularity in the office.

6. Laugh constantly — “Hahahahahahahaha.”

This may sound a little crazy, and that’s exactly what your coworkers will think. Just burst into manic laughter at different times throughout the day. Your coworkers will think you are slightly unstable and will be afraid to turn you down.

7. Just ask nicely — “I know you’re super busy, but can you please help me with this?”

The simplest, and by far the most successful way to get people to help you is to just be super straight and polite with them. No manipulation required.

And finally, thank you to Millie LesterAli Berg and Patrick Trethowan for writing this blog post while I was up to my eyeballs in client meetings and too busy to do it.

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