Delegate more to improve your work life balance

As a doctor who wants to have better work life balance you will find that asking for help is a vital part of having more time for yourself. Getting other people to do some of those tasks which have to be done by somebody but not necessarily by you.
Being able to delegate more effectively is an important talent to have in order to give yourself more time to do either those things which require your specialised medical skills and also to have more time for your hobbies and other leisure activities.
1. Choose the right tasks to delegate. They should be things you can describe easily to someone else so they do exactly what is required.

2. When you delegate you are ultimately responsible for the result so it’s important to set up the work appropriately.

3. Be very clear about exactly what you want to other person to do. Problems with delegation arise if you haven’t specified what you expect from the other person.

4. Teach the person you are delegating to how you want the job done or if they say they already know how to do it ask them to show you. When you watch the way someone approaches a task you may find that you learn something from them especially if they achieve the same result in a different way from you.

5. Watch how the person you have delegated to manages the task and give constructive feedback if necessary. Notice what they find difficult to do or what they are not doing and encourage them to improve their skills if necessary.

6. Let them get on with the task once you have told them what you want and taught them how to do it. People don’t like being watched all the time. You have to trust that they will get on with the task and put into practice what’s needed.

7. Make sure you have regular checks of what they are doing, especially initially, so that both you and they know they are doing what you want them to do.

8. Enjoy the extra time you now have and make sure you fill it with something useful and not use it with time wasters unless these are how you relax because relaxation is too.

One thought on “Delegate more to improve your work life balance”

  1. This is interesting stuff and got me thinking both about how I delegate and indeed how I am delegated to……………………..

    I am currently in a specialty where it is not done very well indeed and this gets me to relfect how I can improve the cascade.

    One of the key challenges for the NHS today ( and frankly this was not the case the last time I was practising in this area some five years ago) is how guidlines fit into medical practice. I am afraid that I am not of a generation of drs that likes guidelines…………..in terms of following the guidelines rather than clinical judgment.

    The other thing that really strikes me on returning to an area I was last working within a few years ago is anxiety and how destructive anxiety is for good patient care…….

    Of course there is much that is within my locus of control and I am grateful, as ever, for this good advice.

    All gd wishes

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