When someone says, “Delegate,” do you break out in hives? Would you rather be Donald Trump’s personal hairspray application tech instead of having to hand over your Facebook posting schedule (which, to be fair, is low on the priority list and you haven’t touched in ages anyway)?
I bet you’re also the person who’d rather break her arms off carrying 15 grocery bags into the house at one time instead of making a second trip.
Yup. I thought so. (I’ll tell you a secret: I’m the same way.)
It’s hard to hand off anything, let alone an aspect of your business. But with practice, you can be a master delegater.
I feel like there needs to be a joke about not having to lock yourself in the bathroom and do it alone.
It will all come in time. Ah ha! There it is.
But seriously, the more comfortable you get with delegating, the easier it will become. I had to learn that the hard way.
Here are 3 steps that will take you from cowering-in-the-corner, I-will-bite-you-if-you-make-me-hand-anything-over to delegating dreamboat, ready to fling tasks out left and right.
Let It Go
The first step, as with most things, is admitting you need help. You cannot expect to add more to your ever-growing plate and continue to operate at the same pace and quality.
So get comfortable asking for help. Practice it. Ask for help.
Say it with me, “I need help.”
I bet you felt silly. But it will get easier. Trust me, I know.
Release small things that don’t really make a difference in the long run.
Yes, I know, you’re the only person who knows how to load the dishwasher correctly. And if you’re anything like Sookie, you also have a diagram in the pantry so don’t stress over having your boyfriend do the dishes for once.
The more you ask for help, the easier it will be to ask for it when you really need it in your business.
Realize that it doesn’t mean you’re admitting defeat.
Personally, I used to hate asking for help because I equated it with not being able to do everything which equals admitting defeat and failure.
Dude. This is not even close to being true. Not being able to do everything (or even knowing how to do everything) is a sign of being a human.
You’re human, so you fail? Nope. Didn’t think so.
Okay, so now that you’re comfortable asking for help and releasing the urge to do it all yourself, start off with little projects in your business.
After all, how do you eat an entire buffalo? Same way you learn to delegate: small bites.
Think about things in your business that need to get done but realistically keep getting shuffled to each new to-do list every week. Maybe you need a form to be created or a style guide to be branded with your colors and a watermark of your logo on each page.
Use a website like Fivrr to find someone willing to do this for a small amount of money. Ask a friend who’s learning how to use Adobe Illustrator. See if there’s anyone in your network willing to help you one night a week.
Delegating small tasks like this will free up your mind from those nagging little projects that suck your energy. Seriously, it isn’t the big projects that feel draining, it’s the mundane details.
And in the long run, done is better than perfect, right? So give your aspiring graphic designer friend some practice and cross off “Update Style Guide” from your list.
Evaluate Areas that Drain Your Energy
Now that you’ve delegated some small tasks with success (you delegated, that’s the success I’m taking about!!) it’s time to open yourself up to more.
Are there areas in your life or business where you feel resistance? Y’know, you sit down to do something and it feels like torture and you’d rather be doing anything but that.
Make a list of your most-resisted items. Chances are, you’re ignoring these areas and they’re probably making you feel guilty, upset, drained, or you’re plain missing out on sales because when was the last time you sent an email to your list?
Identify one or two items that are dragging you down and would make a difference in your business if you gave ownership of those tasks to someone else.
Say you aren’t updating your website copy because you can’t find the right words to use. This would make a huge impact in your business because you’d be able to speak to your target audience with authority and effectiveness that will lead to sales.
Now, same as before, hire someone else to do it for you. Except here’s the catch: it must be someone capable and skilled in that area. This is a big job, you want to make sure it’s going to someone who knows what they’re doing.
But since you’ve already practiced letting go and trusting someone else with small tasks, you’re primed to delegate this more important area of your work.
You’ll release an even bigger stressor and give it to another professional who specializes in it.
Put It Into Practice
-Ask someone to help you today.
-Make a list of the things you can do with the extra time and energy you’d save by delegating.
-Identify areas in which you feel resistance and brainstorm items you can trust to another professional to hand.