(A lesson I’ve learnt the hard way)
‘If you want a job done properly, do it yourself’…but recent life events have shown me that’s not always necessarily true.
If we keep saying ‘yes’ to everything and everyone and add yet another plate to spin, we run the risk of overburdening ourselves. We end up adding a whole new unwanted element to our lives – unnecessary pressure. That, in turn, means we probably need to delegate more tasks to others and if we don’t, the cycle continues. I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another.
Before long, we are unable to perform any of or roles effectively because we have spread ourselves far too thinly meaning everything is done partially and often not perfectly.
The one thing we can’t delegate is managing our own wellbeing, the cornerstone of all our potential, clarity, creativity and productivity.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same idea can translate into the business environment. Just because I can write an email, doesn’t make me the best admin assistant, my enjoyment of passive social media browsing, doesn’t make me a marketing expert and the fact I keep on top of my finances is no match for an accountant’s knowledge.
I’m a professional speaker…it’s what I’m good at, I’m creative, offer inspiration and motivation to others through my work, so why would I ever think it’s the best use of my time to get bogged down with the mundane administration elements of my professional life?
Reflecting on my recent close shave with a nervous breakdown, I realised that my unwillingness to offload more of the vital but non-monetary tasks was eating into my time and happiness…both of which are critical in my role if I’m going to perform at peak potential and inspire others to do likewise.
Often, people see delegating as a sign of weakness or think they have more time then is actually the case, hence the ‘ability’ to cram in even more on to their plate.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth – in fact, the opposite is true. Delegation done correctly is a sign of strong leadership – it shows you trust others around you as being the best person for the job. It reinforces the message that the ‘always on’ culture is unhealthy and that it’s perfectly OK to say ‘no’ at times in order to be most effective.
It is also very easy to think ‘by the time I’ve explained the task, it’s quicker to do it myself’.
If the explanation is given with clarity to a person properly equipped to perform it, it’s a win win…they carry out your instructions efficiently and effectively and you’ve won back that time to focus on your own strengths. As a result, you have more clarity of mind to be creative in areas that matter to your role, and they’ve found a leader they can respect and are more willing to support you…all round positive for business growth.
Consider the alternative – thousands of hours wasted every year on tasks others are far better suited to and your business sacrifices that amount of you being your best and driving forward in equal measure.
I’m currently handing over a range of jobs to others in my recent business restructure and can see a time soon when I’ll be able to lift my head above the parapet with renewed clarity. These actions are already helping my road to recovery and, instead of dreading each day, I am starting to look forward to a more relaxed yet productive future.
So, what are you going to delegate today?