If you're like the "old" me, you might have trouble asking for help or hiring someone to help you with your business.

The truth is, I've had to learn the hard way. I suffered from "analysis paralysis" when I had too much to do on my plate, and even though I outsourced book-keeping, article marketing and graphic design, I went begging on my hands and knees the other day to hire a fulltime Virtual Assistant.

Jack Welch didn't empty the trash cans at GE. Steve Jobs doesn't answer all of Apple's emails, and I bet Meg Whitman never wrote a single piece of code for eBay. Instead, these high-flying execs knew that in order to take their companies to the top, they needed to delegate and outsource.

Put simply, if you try to do it all yourself, your head is going to explode. Why not accept that fact upfront and consistently focus on the parts of your business where you bring the greatest value?

Though delegating will save you tons of stress in the long term, in the short term it can be a little anxiety-producing. Here are 5 tips if you're just starting down the delegation path:

Choose time limited tasks.

The best jobs to start delegating are those that have a concrete beginning and end. It's much easier to ask someone to send out new client packages then it is to ask them to "improve your client retention program." Start with tasks that you could easily create a checklist for and that have a start-to-finish quality.

Set measurable goals.

Define what "completion" looks like for you, and share that picture with the person to which you've chosen to delegate the task. For example, say "When you're done, the new client's information will be entered into a database, an invoice will be sent, the welcome package will be mailed and I'll have a greeting card on my desk to sign." The more specific you are in the end result you desire, the more likely it is that your staff will do a satisfactory job.

Focus on the outcome, not on the process.

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when they delegate is they micromanage the process. Every step of the way, they're looking over the helper's shoulder, making sure everything is done "right." This is going to cause multiple problems and is just so WRONG. Worry less about HOW the work is getting done and focus on the end result. You're not saving time if you're managing every step of the process. Remember, you're trying to make less work for yourself, not more. Trust your judgment - you chose someone you could depend on, so now depend on them.

Focus on "good enough" not "perfection."

This is a tough one for work-at-home entrepreneurs, who tend to be of the "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself," school of thought. To save yourself time and stress, you've got to let go of that expectation. Some jobs don't need to be done perfectly - it's fine if it's just done at all!

Evaluate the efforts and fine tune as necessary.

There's always room for improvement - on both sides! Regularly, ask your helper where you could have done a more effective job of managing the process, and be open to her suggestions. Then if you see some ways she could work more effectively, suggest them in a constructive manner.

Now that you've gotten over the fact that you can't do it all and are delegating some tasks, you've got a few minutes to breathe deep and take a look at how to spend a bit of free time. Do you need to spend it on taking care of yourself, working out or on a stress relief activity? Or, can you get out there and shake some customer trees to make connections and bring in more business?

I'd love to learn what sort of things you delegate to others. What's something you used to do that you'll never go back to now that you've been smart enough to put someone else in charge?

Author's Bio: 

Jane Morrison, coach, mentor, and speaker, teaches female entrepreneurs marketing strategies so you stop holding yourself back and become the awesome business woman of your dreams. When you work with Jane your business will skyrocket, replacing overwhelm and doubt with clarity, confidence and action that gets real results!

Author of "Savvy Leadership Skills for Women Entrepreneurs", Jane is your advocate for marketing makeovers. Take advantage of her FREE motivational resources, including a complimentary Visioning Session, at http://www.janemorrison.com.