THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Delegate: Conserve your precious time
I'm a huge fan of delegating. Part of what makes me good is that I love time management advice, and I'm constantly asking myself what's most important to me. I keep my list to about five things, and everything else is fair game for delegation. Also, I'm lucky to have many traits of a good delegator, including:
1. Little interest in details
Perfectionists are the worst at delegating. They are delusional about what's important and what isn't.
2. Strong sense that time matters more than money I'm willing to sacrifice money to buy time whenever possible. Often, even when I overpay I feel good about not having had to do the task. And you can generally tell how much money I'm making by how many people I have helping me, because that's always the first thing I spend my money on.
3. Young kids at home
There's no such thing as "free time" when you have toddlers at home. There is only time to parent and time to do the whole rest of your life. So time management is figuring out what you'll either give up completely or delegate.
People who have a long list of things they won't delegate are really just making excuses. I never regret having tried to delegate, even when things don't go that well.
I delegated buying my mom flowers once. I decided that if it's the thought that counts, it was enough that I thought to tell someone else to do it. My mom wasn't crazy about that idea, but the world is not the judge of what is okay to delegate. You are.
I got used to Fresh Direct, an online grocery delivery service for New York City. When I moved to Wisconsin, I was not about to start going to the store when I had already tasted the excitement of delegating. So I ordered online, but the Madison store didn't save my grocery lists. And pointing and clicking 70 times to buy 70 items is not that fast.
But then I discovered that our local food co-op has a great delivery system. No point-and-click ordering, just email them a list. I wrote a list, but then I realized that it takes a lot of brain power plan a family's food for a week.
So I left the choices to them.
The food I got was healthy, appropriate and fun. And this brings up overlooked benefits of delegating: you get to see things done another way; you learn from someone else about what's available; you get to have a surprise. If you're not a control freak, these are good experiences.
You spend so much time food shopping. Don't tell me it's an integral part of your family life. It's not. Sitting at the table together is what's important. You don't need complete control over what you eat. You probably don't have the luxury of controlling as much as you're trying to control. And for most of us, the way to preserve and celebrate what's most important in life is to off-load what's not.
Look at your life for the things that are not at the core. Admit that the core is small. Question everything you think you need to do yourself. It comes down to how much control you're willing to relinquish, and how much you value your time.