One of the reasons people try to do everything themselves has to do with the age-old saying “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” This belief can cause a lot of unnecessary work and hassle in your life. Here are three reasons to delegate tasks to others, both in business and in life.
Save Time. Is your schedule so crammed you’re wondering when you might get to sleep this week? I finally found myself a virtual assistant team I felt comfortable turning over some of my more mundane or technical work-related tasks to, and I’ve been impressed with how much time (and effort) it’s been saving me. An admin task related to my website maintenance would have taken me 10+ hours to figure out, but my assistant took care of it in less than half an hour, leaving me with 10+ hours to spend doing stuff I’m actually good at. I used to be pretty stubborn about this, I always wanted to figure it all out for myself – it was definitely a control issue. It’s not that I couldn’t learn how to do these technical tasks, it’s just not good use of my time to do so when I could be spending that time doing things that already within my area expertise. A book that really opened my eyes this (and gave me some clues as to what I should delegate to others) is Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Buy a new book so you can get the special code in the back (good for one use only) to take the Strengths Finder test online. You may be surprised to see what your top five strengths are! The premise of the book is this: stop trying to overcome your weaknesses and just focus on the things you’re already best at and watch how things seem to magically come together!
Save Money. This is very much tied into the first point – when you focus on things you’re good at, you spend less time on the mundane stuff you’re not good at and you’re more free to work on the tasks that actually produce income for your business. In my example above, if I had spent the 10 hours it would have taken for me to figure out the technical details of my website issue I wouldn’t have been able to spend that time writing my blog and eBooks – two activities that have directly affected the number of clients I work with and the revenue coming into the business. Or I could have done it all (like I used to) which can produce more stress, which can result in more physical or emotional problems in the body, which can lead to more money spent on reactive (versus preventative) healthcare. The money spent to delegate actually saves me money in the larger scheme of things – this is often difficult for people to perceive if they are only focused on the money paid to services and discount money spent on reactive healthcare, or alcohol/drugs/other activities used to relieve stress. How much could you reduce your stress and the amount of money you spend on reactive healthcare if you just delegated a few things to others?
Educating Others. By this I mean your kids or possibly your employees – delegating can mean a learning experience for others. It may seem like it’s taking more time in the beginning to get kids and employees to understand how you’d like things done, but once they catch on, you will save time in the long run. I meet a lot of moms who do all the chores around the house themselves because no one does it at well as they do, or at least that’s what they think. But if you’re projecting that belief onto others in your household, that’s exactly what you’ll get – and then you’ll wonder when your kids get to college why they have no idea how to clean up after themselves or organize their own lives. This applies to business too – if you never give employees the chance to learn how to do it, they never will. What would it take for you to give up perfection for a little while during the period it takes other to learn how to do it correctly?
Learning to delegate tasks to other can be challenging for some people. I certainly experienced this myself during the start up phase of my business. But now as the business has grown, there’s just not enough time for me to spend personally taking care of every single detail. The trick is to start small – what ONE thing could you delegate to someone else today, this week, or this month?