You're going to have to get comfortable with saying no. But you're also going to have to get comfortable with delegating. I can help—not because I'm an expert at it but because in acquiring this skill, I've overcome my share of failed attempts.
And I still say it's worth it.
Delegating gives you back your life. It helps you breathe better. It lets you see—maybe for the first time—where you should be focusing.
Here's how to sidestep the most common pitfalls, put this stress management tool to work, and reap the benefits.
Pitfall #1: Telling yourself "I can't afford it"
Some folks just don't want to delegate, which is fine. But if your work pays $30 an hour, you can clearly afford to pay for work that costs $25 an hour ... or less. Example: housecleaning.
Sometimes delegating is less about time/money and more about what it does to your spirits. (Ask me if I miss doing my own bookkeeping.)
What's one recurring task you would enjoy taking off your plate?
Pitfall #2: "What would I delegate?"
If you're a small-business owner, the answers are endless.
Here's an excellent article from Inc. magazine to stir your thinking: 27 Things to Delegate to Your Assistant to Make Your Life Smoother, Faster, and Better.
I'm always amazed when I hear of executives who are still mowing their own lawns, doing their own home repairs, still running to Home Depot to buy lightbulbs.
If you enjoy it, go for it. But where else could you be investing that time?
Pitfall #3: "It's too hard."
I get it. Delegating takes patience, especially in the beginning. But if you stick with it, you'll find other people who can do as good of a job on certain tasks—or better.
John Maxwell says if someone can do a task at least 80% as well as he can, he lets them. And if they have the potential to do it 80% as well ... he trains them.
Pitfall #4: Waiting till the last minute—or simply underestimating the work involved
I made that second mistake last Friday and spent several frustrating hours making up for it.
It started when I decided to offer the free checklist, 50 Traits of Exceptional Leaders. This meant, among other things, creating the checklist, having it formatted, creating a landing page to support it, and making sure all the links worked as they should.
My wonderful assistant, Ali, had already spent the last several days hitting it out of the park for me. For example, she was the one who turned my Google docs checklist into a thing of beauty.
All the more reason I didn't feel right having her do all the things that were still left to do on Friday afternoon.
So I took over, worked my way out of a temporary site crash, and finished up long past 5pm. And I vowed that next week I would start much sooner. I did. This pep talk you are reading was all wrapped up by Wednesday.
What's one task you could delegate this week that would simplify your life and lower your stress?
Meet My Virtual Assistant, Ali
Ali is the reason I can bring you inspiration every Monday. She keeps me accountable, keeps me smiling, and above all keeps me moving forward. Can't say enough good things about her. If you're an entrepreneur looking for a team member you can count on, I highly encourage you to check out her site.