How to Prevent Burnout by Delegating Tasks
21 May, 2019
I have seen many talented leaders burn out because they feel the need to do it all, especially tasks they loathe. While I also found myself falling into that trap, as a working parent I didn't have the luxury of time to completely pour into my work. I needed to find ways to keep my teams productive while also managing my own time.
- Your calendar is easily filled with meetings and you don't need to attend them all. For example, I asked my senior engineers to lead and facilitate meetings, practicing their communication skills and driving projects forward.
- For coordination that needs to happen among multiple teams I have asked someone who is driving the engineering for the project to do the preparation for that meeting. Not only does that reinforce that those closest to the work are communicating more directly, I'm able to only jump in to catch any gaps or dependencies. It's a great opportunity for tech leads in the team to expand the breadth of their impact, and in the process other team members also proactively seek opportunities to step up.
- You can't just throw a task at somebody and walk away. It is a gradual process. I approach it like any other opportunity for growth, showing an individual how I approach it while allowing them to improve on that and find their own way.
- This approach also tended to improve how meeting outcomes were synthesized and shared out. Once those outcomes were better synthesized and communicated, the share-out became the way I consumed the information which allowed me to wean myself away from some tasks.
- It allowed me to focus more deeply on a smaller set of items and target specific issues I wanted to address in more depth. For example, by delegating a particular task to my engineers I didn't feel obliged anymore to pay attention to every single detail and was able to focus on collaborating more deeply to solve targeted problems—in this case large architectural changes required to support the next phase of major features.
Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader
Individual Contributors are familiar with a technical development framework that helps them with building products. Managers, especially new managers can leverage a parallel framework to help them build their teams while drawing analogies from an already familiar framework.
Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti
Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart
Lucjan Suski, CEO & Co-founder of Surfer, relates how he started a company as a side project and shares his insights on bootstrapping tech startups.
Co-founder, formerly CTO and CEO at Surfer
Josef Starychfojtu, VP of Engineering at Mews, delves into his interviewing tactics for recruiting the best-suited candidates.
VP of Engineering, Platform at Mews
My accidental journey into product management
Sr. Manager, Product Management at Capital One
Łukasz Biedrycki, VP of Engineering at BlockFi, talks about the importance of building on your strengths and finding your passions to maximize your impact. He dives into the tactics that managers can use to support their teammates in this pursuit.
VP of Engineering at BlockFi
You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.
Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.