“I can do this better myself!”

I know you can, so can I.

“It’s faster if I just take care of it!” 

Yes it is, in the short term. 

With each new job or assignment I tend to keep some of those duties that I’m really good at, that I can do better and faster than others.  What I notice is I have more and more to do and less time to do it – old tasks and new tasks.

Hanging on to familiar tasks is natural, it’s about staying in the comfort zone.  It also reinforces that I’m good at something – I seem to need that more when I’m learning something new.

Each task is an addition to your bag of tricks – pretty soon the bag gets too heavy to cart around.  You’re stuck and can’t move forward.

Here’s some tips to help you lighten your load.

Tip 1:  Acceptance.  No one will do something as well or just the way you do.  That’s ok – you won’t be judged on these tasks any more – they will.  Let go!  (I know it’s hard.)

Tip 2:  Lists.  During the course of a week create and add to two lists, one which includes all those duties and tasks that you love to do, the other includes those tasks you don’t like doing.  At the end of the week, look at the list that includes tasks you don’t like doing – this is a great starting point for delegation.

Tip 3:  Delegate.  Take the potential delegation list and group similar tasks.  Identify who could do these in your organization.  Remember for each task you don’t like doing, there is someone who does like doing it, hard to believe I know!

Tip 4:  Teach.  Take the time to teach someone how to do what you no longer want to do.  If you’re saying to yourself that you don’t have time – that’s your red flag – start teaching someone right away.  Get creative, break the teaching up and share the “how-to” one step at a time.

Tip 5:  Love to do!  Look at the list of things you love to do.  To the side of each task put a plus sign if the task is something that enhances your current or a future position.  Put a negative sign if the task doesn’t add value to you or your career.  You’ll want to be really honest with yourself.  Consider delegating those tasks that you love, but don’t add a lot of value.  Give someone else the opportunity that you have!

What are you holding onto that someone else could do?  What will you do with all your extra time?  Are you struggling with this set of tips?  Leave a comment below and share your experience!

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