Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!"It's just easier to do it myself!" I think at times. In the short run, yes. But in the long run, no. It does take time to teach someone else to do the task at hand. But when I do take the time, I am multiplying myself. Delegating is an essential skill to own, whether it is at work, at home, or in your leisure activities. 

Reasons we don't delegate: 
Some people find it harder to delegate than others. Here are a few reasons: 

- They may feel they must be indispensable in order to keep their jobs. The thinking is, "If no one else knows how to do this, I can't lose my job." Not true. 

- Sometimes we become possessive of our areas of expertise. We don't want anyone else to do it as well as we do! 

- We may want to guarantee that the job is done in a certain way, and we think that no one else can do it as well. It's hard to give up control. 

Reasons to delegate: 
- Lack of delegation leads to being overworked. Enough said! 

- Lack of delegation creates inefficiency. For example, if I'm the only one in my organization (work, volunteer work, or at home) who knows how to do a certain task, I may be interrupted from something much more important and urgent when someone else needs this task done. To that person it might be urgent and important, but to me it may not be. And what happens if I'm not there? When a task is known by several, the responsibility can be shared. 

- If it would benefit others in the organization to know how to do a task, I would be doing a disservice not to teach them this skill. Building in check points insures quality control. 

- The team mentality should be "the success of the team for the benefit of the team." When the team wins, individuals win. If individuals are not team players, the team suffers.  

It's obvious how important delegation is at work. But what about in leisure activities? 

For several years, I organized the annual women's retreat for our church. At some point, I realized I needed to make this job transferrable. I asked our retreat committee to write up job descriptions for their various functions. 

Even though I could have written the job descriptions myself, I chose to delegate it, lightening my load considerably. And, obviously, they knew their jobs better than I did! After writing my own job description, I put all the information into a three ring binder. As it turned out, we moved rather suddenly and I was able to pass on this notebook to someone else, so no one had to re-invent the wheel. 

And what about at home? When our children were at home and later when we had foster children, I was often tempted to put away the jam myself or wash someone's dish and put it in the dishwasher just to get rid of the clutter. 

There were times when I did these things, but if I did it on a consistent basis, I would have trained my family to leave all the work to me. That would have turned into feeling taken for granted and feeling angry. Not a nice way to live! 

I learned to give gentle reminders and occasionally reiterate what level of cleanliness I expected. 

 I also made the time to teach a skill or a segment of a skill, so our girls will be prepared to be on their own some day. If one of our foster daughters had no experience in cooking, for example, I worked with her - making sure she read the entire recipe and measured correctly. Even though there were spills and mistakes, I'd take a deep breath and remind myself what is really important. :-) Even small children can learn how to put their dishes in the dishwasher or fold their own clothes! 

When we delegate, the task may not be done exactly the way we would have done it, but that leaves the possibility for it to be done better or in a more creative way. As I learned in my cross-cultural training, different isn't bad! 

What are you struggling to delegate? 

More about efficiency:
Prioritizing According to Energy Level
Three Steps to Time Management books (1-2-3…Get Organized series books and ebooks)
Creating Routines and Systems