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Just Delegate Already!

Lawyers have some pretty bad habits but trying to do everything ourselves is likely the worst. Here’s a scenario: you have a deadline looming to get a draft to your boss. You’re running out of time and could delegate some portion of the work to an associate, paralegal, or an assistant but you just can’t bring yourself to do it. You worry that their plates are also full, that they won’t do as good of a job, or that it will take too much time to explain the task. 

Here’s the truth: you’re doing yourself a giant disservice by doing it all on your own. Not only are you wasting energy but you’re losing money. The tasks that can be delegated at work are often billable tasks. Get your associates and paralegals to help you with that legal research and drafting. Make money on their work! 

Even if the tasks aren’t billable, you need to preserve your resources and time. Your energy is valuable. Burnout and overwhelm come at a significant cost and can prevent you from being available when you really need to be present. Through delegation, you ensure that your energy is used on what’s most important and profitable and that you log off with energy to spend with loved ones, pets, or even on wine tastings (we all have our preferences). Your time is worth significantly more than your billable rate so use it wisely. 

Here are some practical tips for delegation:

  1. Ask if the employee has the capacity to help you on your project. 
  2. Be clear in your direction and confirm with your delegatee that they understand the task.
  3. Provide a deadline. 
  4. Adjust your expectations. Perfect doesn’t exist. 
  5. Touch base with the delegatee on a consistent basis but give them space to work on the project without constant oversight. 
  6. Provide feedback after the project is done. 
  7. Keep track of good and bad work product so you can identify patterns.
  8. Give people a chance to try new things. 
  9. Be confident in your hiring skills or those of your employer that you choose to work for too. 
  10. Just let go. Your inner Type A control freak will be okay. I promise. 

To grow your practice or your business, you have to get good at delegation. If you see an opportunity to work on it, let’s talk. I would love to help you develop that skill and create more “me” time as a result.