No matter what your day to day occupation, delegation should be a part of it. There is simply no way, and no need, to try and do everything yourself. That is the path to insanity. But what should you delegate? And how?
First the what. I say, if you’re not good at something and don’t want to improve, don’t do it. I am a poor housekeeper. I’m not being self-negating either – I am genuinely bad at cleaning things. And I have no desire to improve my abilities. On the other hand, I wasn’t very good at breast-feeding when my daughter was born, but I really wanted to improve and so I persevered and successfully breast-fed her for 9 months. What are you bad at? Wouldn’t it be a relief just to delegate that task?
Next the how. Traditional delegation involves finding someone else to do the task. Usually that means money. I pay a nanny to watch my daughter so I can work. I have paid people to clean my house for me in the past and will again in the future. But it’s not always necessary to pay someone. Bartering and swapping are great ways to create win-win delegation in your community. Once a week, I swap a date night with another mom. She comes over one week so my husband and I can go out, then I go to her house the next week. Free and mutually beneficial! My husband and I routinely swap chores: right now I’m cleaning the litterboxes and he does all the dishes. If I cook, he cleans up, while if he cooks, I clean up.
A less traditional way to delegate is to use tools to create solutions. I’ve outsourced my brain to my iPhone. It holds my calendar, my to-do list, my contacts, my grocery list, my music and pictures, my social media accounts, as well as two data collection tools to keep random items like recommendations, recipes, and good ideas. As a part time life coach and full time stay at home mom, I need a personal secretary, and my iPhone is that for me. And it doesn’t have to be digital – pen and paper is fine. Any tool that frees up time or energy is a good delegation tool.
So, what would you like to delegate? And how can you do that?