I struggle with delegating in my life. To me, sometimes, it seems like laziness to ask someone else to do something that you can do yourself. I think many people feel this way. We believe that real men or women don’t have to ask for help and should be able to do everything on their own. Although there is a place for this self-sufficiency, I often think our pride and desire to do everything on our own hurts us in the long run. I have realized and am continuing to realize that delegation is a good and important thing.
I would like to talk about delegation today and how it is essential in our lives. It allows us to work on the tasks that we enjoy the most and are the most productive. This does not mean that we should shirk work and be lazy, but it does mean that we shouldn’t assume that we have to do everything by ourselves and never ask for help. Sometimes when we here the word delegation, we think of the overbearing boss who does not do anything and just pushes work onto others, but that is not at all what correct delegation is. Proper delegation is empowering others while allowing you to focus on your most important tasks. Here are a few ways to delegate and ask for help from others.
One – Determine your priorities.
I would highly recommend reading the book Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. In the book, he talks a lot about determining your priorities and that once you know what your priorities are, you can decide which things you should attempt to delegate. He says that there are four types of tasks. Tasks that we like and are good at, tasks that we like but are not good at, tasks that we don’t like but are good at, and tasks that we don’t like and are not good at. Our goal should be to work primarily on the tasks that we are good at and enjoy doing.
We should then evaluate how we can automate or delegate all other tasks. The reality is we will probably have to do some of the other tasks as well, but if we have defined our priorities or the things that we should be working on the most, we will be able to begin to search for ways to delegate the other tasks to others. The 80-20 rule states that 20% of your work produces 80% of your results. We should determine the most important tasks in our life or business and try to spend most of our time on them and delegate the other tasks.
Two – Ask for help.
Sometimes we assume that others do not enjoy doing the things that we do not enjoy. However, that is simply not true. Growing up, I had a friend who enjoyed working on cars. He was more than happy to help fix my car whenever I need it. I didn’t know much about cars. Although I was interested in learning more and enjoyed tinkering around with some things, I would usually waste all afternoon on something small before taking it over to my friend’s house. He would look at it and fix it in 15 minutes.
You might think that I was not smart to work on my car and waste several hours, but it is incredible to me how often people do this every day at work and in life. We do not want to ask for help, and so we waste time and energy on something that we are not skilled at. We should find others that have the skills we don’t. You will be surprised that others are many times excited to do the things we don’t enjoy. It is merely a matter of asking.
Three – Release control
Sometimes we want to control every aspect of our job or what we do. We don’t want anyone else messing things up or making us look bad, but the reality is that we must teach others and allow them to learn and grow so that we can work on other things. Whether you are a pastor, small business owner, or manager, you should let others take responsibility. We have to tendency to control everything, but if we do that, our organization, church, or business won’t grow. We must teach others and allow them positions of responsibility.
We must be willing to teach others how to do our jobs and give them opportunities. They might fail or not do as good of a job that we would have done, but that is the only way that they will grow. We all have made a lot of mistakes, and that is how we learn. We must learn to release our control and empower others.
Delegation does not mean that we never do a task that we dislike or are not productive at again, but it does mean that we should look for ways to work on what is important for us.