Mastering the art of delegation is one of the skills that can totally change your life. The problem with most people, especially women, is that they tend to think they’re the only one who can do something and do it right. *Guilty as charged*
The thing to remember, though, is that “right” is often subjective. Maybe someone else can do it perfectly fine and, if it reduces stress in your life, it's worth it to let them.
Let’s look at some factors that can help you master the art of delegation so that you can simplify your life by leveraging other people’s time.
Hand Off the Right Type of Tasks
First, get a handle on all the tasks that you do. When you can organize and categorize them, you can look at ways to make each task easier to accomplish. In some cases, you can automate them with technology, in other cases, you’ll need to find a person to handle that task for you. Nowadays, you can even use 3rd party companies to do your grocery shopping for you and deliver it to your door.
Give the Tasks to the Right Person
In addition to handing off the right type of tasks, you’ll want to find the right person for that task. If you know someone who is already good at that thing you need to be done, they’re the most natural person to hire because they already know how to do it.
You just give it to them and let them do it. If you find someone who hasn’t done it before, you’ll have to train them. That is an idea if your budget is lower but hiring an expert will make everything simpler.
Especially in current times, there are so many options to hire out your every day tasks like food preparation, grocery shopping, even picking up your dry cleaning for you.
Get Out of Their Way
Once you pass the task on to someone else, get out of their way. Don’t micromanage. Sure, give them some expectations for the task. Micromanaging is just going to undermine what you're trying to achieve.
For example, if you hire someone to clean your home, make sure to let them know about the things you deem important for the cleaning to be considered sufficient to you, then let them do it.
Most service providers already have a specific method for doing that task based on their expertise, so it’s always best after you’ve agreed on deliverables to let them get on with it.
Use Your New-Found Time Productively
It’s not enough to just delegate a task to someone else, and that’s that. Instead, use the time you gain to do something productive.
If you use that time to do something important to you such as spend time with your kids, your partner, friends – or to do money-making tasks, you’re going to feel so much more productive and enjoy delegating more.
If someone else can do something faster, cheaper, and the same quality (or close) as you, why wouldn’t you delegate? If you are feeling overwhelmed because you are doing too much, there is no point in continuing.
Instead, invest in training and delegating to others because you’ll not only improve your own life but maybe theirs too.
Automation That Will Save You Time
One way to become more productive is to automate the things that you can. Today there is an enormous amount of automation that you can do, both at work and in your personal life. Let’s look at a few ideas that might make a massive difference in your day, making it that much more simplified using technology and good habits.
Set Up Your Computer Properly
Your computer can maintain itself with the right additions of software. Set up your computer so that it automatically updates, automatically checks for viruses, and keeps the computer clean.
Whether you have a Mac or a PC, there are options for you to learn about.
Pay Your Bills Via Your Bank’s Bill Payment System
Now, most credit cards and bills today let you set up automatic payment options directly through them, but setting them up via your bank or credit union's system is a better and more organized way to do it because if you need to change something it’s all in one place.
*This is actually something I'm working on changing over now. It'll be easier for me to keep track of payments or make changes because they'll all be in one place.
You can automate the payment process, or you can simply go online and click to pay when you’re ready. Most banks and credit unions today offer this service free too.
Automate Meal Planning with a Dinner Kit
If you find that meal planning and shopping take too much time, you can automate much of this by signing up for a meal kit delivery service. They will then send you an email before each shipment, letting you now the additional things you need to buy.
Many grocery stores are offering an online shopping option with pick-up or delivery available, either through them or a 3rd party such as Instacart. This is a great option, especially if you find it hard to fit grocery shopping in to your schedule.
If you have a lot of paperwork you’re always going through, try to find a way to go paperless. Paperless files are easier to find with a search than other types of files.
Plus, you can set it up to do some of this automatically if you learn how to use your computer. On Mac, it’s called “Automator on the Mac” and here's a getting started video. On Windows, there are many programs available, AutoHotkey is the most user-friendly of them.
Learn to Use Your Smartphone
Everyone has this wonderful device today called a “smartphone” that has more computing power than the computer that sent people to the moon the first time. We tend to not use it to it's full potential. We have the ability to create file, lists, detailed calendars and schedules, etc.
If you learn to use the tools such as list keeping, shut on, and shutoffs, and so forth, you’ll be more productive.
If you like to watch shows on your television, get a DVR or other system that enables you to automatically record the shows you want so that you can watch them on your down day instead of when they come out.
Many of us have done away with cable and most of the streaming services we've gone to offer DVR options. I, personally, like YouTubeTV, because my significant other can watch his games and I can record what I want to go back and watch during my TV time and they include DVR services in their subscription.
Make Your House Smarter
Today you can have a house that unlocks the door for you, turns on the light, preheats the oven and so forth – all from a distance and at your command.
If you can afford to invest in this time-saving technology, it is a great way to ensure that things get done. You can even water your lawn or house plants using automation technology. Many of these new gadgets help keep your home safer in the process, as well.
Hire Household Help
Even if you can’t technically outsource some of your tasks at work to automate something, you can at home. Automate your household chores by hiring someone to do it for you every single week the same day.
In many areas, you can find an entrepreneur to use instead of a larger company. Don't get me wrong, larger companies do a good job, but I always like to help out the smaller businesses. Especially local, small businesses.
Anything that you know must be done regularly needs a system. Whether that’s paying bills, bookkeeping, or taking a bath, it all happens regularly.
Setting up systems that use a combination of technology, delegation, and habit creation will go far in getting more organized through automation.
Continue to Evaluate
When you look at new opportunities to delegate or automate something, think about these factors:
- the time that it takes you to accomplish it
- what your opportunity cost is for continuing to do it manually
- the value of the task
- can you automate it
- can you delegate it
- would it be cost effective, overall, if you did automate or delegate it
Even if you only shave an hour off your day, remember that’s 365 hours a year. That’s over fifteen days. You can accomplish a lot in fifteen days.