Una's Blog


40 The wisdom of delegation

graphic-4by Una Hearne.

You are your life manager. It is your responsibility to look after yourself in life and work. You can offer the best of you to the world if you look after yourself properly and make the most of your time.

Don’t worry you won’t get it perfect, you are human.

One of the most useful skills you can develop for yourself is the art of delegation. It is essential in order to use your time and energy effectively.

You delegate by default all the time. Surprised? Think about it, most of us don’t grow our own food, we buy it, in effect delegating the production and delivery of our food to other people. In other words you have paid people to do that work for you. It’s part of that system we call our economy.

The art of delegation is all about finding the right people or products at the right quality, time and price for us.

It is not self indulgent to delegate, it doesn’t make you ‘soft’ or incapable. It is good business and life management. It is something else important as well in the context of the economy – it is employment for other people. If you employ other people, you are an economic hero.

It is wise, when delegating, to understand enough about the work/product so that 1) you appreciate the person who is doing it or made it for you,  and 2) you can ensure you are not conned or ripped off.

When to delegate is very much a judgement call of course, when to spend resources and when not to. It is not smart to throw money or other resources away on stuff that is for very little benefit to you. Potentially bankrupting yourself, even if it keeps other people in work, makes no economic sense. Hoarding money or other resources out of fear or limiting beliefs is just as bad as throwing them away.

Examples of limiting thoughts in relation to delegation are:

  • ‘I don’t know how to find the right person.’
    Is the payoff worth the investment of time and effort? If so, step up and learn this new skill.
  • ‘I don’t trust anyone to do this.’
    Is the payoff worth getting over your perfectionist tendencies a little?
  • ‘I don’t deserve this.’
    Take the time to build some self esteem, you do deserve the best in life. You can’t always have it, but sometimes you can.
  • ‘Luxuries are a waste of money.’
    Define luxury. See? It depends. The question is can you afford it and is it of real value to you?

And my personal favourite:

  • ‘I should be doing this myself’ (accounts, housework, sales, childcare, shopping, administration…).
    Oh yeah? Says who exactly?

There are plenty of things in business and life you may not be able to afford. Look for areas of your life and work where delegation could reduce your stress or  free up your time for things that are more important to you. Figure out if the exchange is worth it to you, short term and long term. And make the right choice for you.

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