What do pomegranate seeds have to with delegation? Along with painting, billing clients, and driving to the airport, they are all things I would gladly pay someone else to do so I can focus on what matters most to me. Call me elitist, but after spending two hours and getting 20 seeds, I will gladly pay $6 for pomegranate seeds at the grocery story (even when I could pay $2 for the entire fruit).
While it may seem like too much of an investment to spend time getting others up to speed on how to do things, once they are there, your day is left wide open to spend on things you want to spend time on. Clients often tell me that delegation and asking others to do something takes much more time than them doing it themselves. My answer: maybe initially, but if someone is competent and committed they usually pick things up rather quickly. So the ball is now in your court – are you willing to give up control to gain the most valuable thing in the world (time if you did not guess!)?
If you have trouble thinking what you need to delegate, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it something that is part of the day to day routine? If so, this is a perfect delegation task. Yes, delegating gets it off your plate, but if you look at something as day-to-day, you may never see the opportunities to innovate. Someone on your team may have the best idea on how to streamline these processes if you give them control.
- Is it something that only happens once or twice a year? Delegate it to someone to manage and have them ask for your input. These annual activities (think taxes or budgeting) definitely need your input but do not need your undivided attention. Having someone on your team or a virtual assistant pull together all the pieces and show you the big picture will allow you to focus on where you add value: giving the go ahead!
- Finally, is it something you do not know how to do but think you should be able to do? I really think I should be able to copyedit my work. I mean, I am educated and have written books – right? Wrong! It is hard to admit but with a mild case of dyslexia and a major case of my brain moving faster than my fingers, hiring a copyeditor and sucking up my pride was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Delegate and distribute so you can focus on what you love the most! (Pomegranate martini anyone?)