Not sure which tasks to delegate? Follow the six Ts

This handy check list will help you determine what tasks to offload

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


When it feels like you don’t have room for yet another request without sacrificing your sanity or strategic projects, it’s time to delegate.

Use the six Ts to determine what tasks make the most sense to offload:

– Tiny: Tasks that add up quickly even though they seem small and inconsequential. These tasks are never important or urgent, but even if they only take a few minutes, they end up taking you out of the flow of more strategic work.

– Tedious: Tasks that are relatively simple probably aren’t the best use of your time. Very straightforward tasks should be handled by anyone but you.

– Time-consuming: Tasks that, although they may be important and somewhat complex, take up a considerable amount of time and don’t require you to do the initial 80 per cent of research. You can easily step in when the task is 80 per cent complete and give approval, oversight and/or direction on next steps.

– Teachable: Tasks that, although comprising several smaller tasks, can be consolidated into a single system and passed along, with you only providing quality checks and final approval.

– Terrible at: Tasks that don’t play to your strengths. You take far longer than other people skilled in this area, and you still produce a subpar result.

– Time-sensitive: Crucial tasks that compete with other priorities. Since there isn’t enough time to do them all at once, you can delegate one of these important tasks so that it can be done in parallel with your other project-based deadlines.

Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017