It’s Thursday afternoon and you feel like it’s been 10 days since Monday morning. You’ve not only finished several items on your to do list (though you wish you had gotten through more) but were also busy shuffling through 15 other responsibilities, several of which aren’t even in your job description. Sound familiar? Below are tips on why you might be consistently putting yourself in this draining position and what you can do to save time and get more done.
I Know I Shouldn’t Take All Of This On. So, why do I do it? Often we fall into the trap of taking on more than we can handle because we assume that delegating will either end in poor results or too much of a time investment in training and managing the person. Letting go can prove to be challenging and the quick fix becomes, “I’ll just do it myself”. But, scaled over time this becomes an impossible solution. What you are ultimately doing is training yourself to not trust others and distracting yourself from getting the things on your to-do list done because you’ve taken on the responsibility of others. Delegating and giving up power can seem very daunting at first, and like anything you try the first time, it takes some adjustment. But here’s the truth: odds are the catastrophe is only in your head.
Baby Steps. Ok, baby mini-steps. In order to start delegating properly you need to know exactly what tasks are taking you too long to complete. What responsibilities have you taken on that are distracting you and would free up a lot of your time if someone else took care of them? Make an actual list – on paper and not in head – of all the responsibilities you would want to delegate. If you scan your list, you are going to get a pretty clear picture of the kind of help you are seeking. It might be that in the end you need help from more than one person. But, take things one step at a time. Do you need someone to help you with admin? IT? Marketing? And then, go on a quest finding that right person.
I have tons of Facebook friends & Twitter followers but, good people are hard to find! Yes, they are. And, that’s exactly why you took the time to write your list of responsibilities this person would be in charge of. Most of the time, hiring fails because of a lack of communication. The employer isn’t clear about the deliverable expected and the employee isn’t honest about whether or not they can fulfill properly. So, now that you know exactly what you are looking for make sure to ask your candidates their experience, comfort level and abilities in the tasks you expect them to fulfill. Be honest in the interview! If tardiness is something that drives you crazy then make sure you mention it. Do not expect the candidate to be able to fulfill your expectations if you aren’t clear about them in the first place. Then, hire them on a trial basis only! This will help not only motivate them to do their best but will also act as a training period to see if they are a good fit. If you are not ready to hire yet, then look for subcontractors, freelancers or a virtual assistant who can probably implement what you are looking for at reduced costs and risk. The key to all of this, however, is communicating your needs and being forward about your expectations. That way, if they aren’t met you can simply refer back to your original conversation.
Embrace change and it will surprise you how many opportunities start to blossom.
Are you taking on too much? Let us know what you’ve done to lighten the load below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.