This morning I was at a Business Chicks breakfast with the amazing Sir Richard Branson. He regaled us with stories of getting a "bloody bum" when jumping off a roof in Las Vegas, and how the movie The Hangover is almost certainly based on a night he partied after the Melbourne Grand Prix!
One line that struck me, as a personal concierge, was that being dyslexic has meant Richard Branson has learnt to delegate really well. He knew that he needed to get in people to do the stuff he wasn't good or great at to ensure it was done and done well. I of course loved this, and could certainly recognise that doing what you love and achieving need not be hindered by other factors.
"It's just easier to do it myself."
However, it also got me thinking about my work as a personal concierge and to recall one of the phrases I hear a lot - "It's just easier to do it myself." Have you ever said this? I know I certainly have! Today I still manage everything about my website, marketing and social media, it's all me! I know I 'should' delegate a lot of this to other people who have more expertise than me, or simply to create space in my schedule. Yet I don't. Why? Because I haven't had a huge, overwhelming reason that has meant I simply cannot not delegate this.
I know that many of our clients come to us when they are in the midst of a drama, or are anticipating the next drama, and simply can't manage it any more. Moving house, a family illness an emergency interstate trip...........these are the times that many of our clients call us for the first time. We get the call when it's all too much and they simply cannot do it by themselves any more. I've heard stories of burnout, of stress leave, of 3 hours sleep a night.
Of course I'm absolutely thrilled that we offer a service which provides real assistance to our clients in these times of stress. Yet, I wonder how many of us fall into the trap of waiting for a major issue or drama to occur before we realise the importance of delegation? We do it all ourselves until we simply can't.
Do you need dyslexia to learn to delegate?
Richard Branson used dyslexia, a condition he had his whole life, as a way to force himself to learn how to delegate. More than likely there were many incidents or issues that kept coming up which meant he knew he needed help. What if he hadn't had the impetus to learn delegation so early in his career? What would have happened if he had continued to do it all himself, and something actually went wrong on one of his hot hair balloon trips, or whilst scaling a tall building? If there was no one there, prepared to pick up the pieces, much of what he has achieved may have only been wishful thinking.
I know that once people start using our services, delegation becomes a habit. Things they previously wouldn't have dreamed of delegating to another person are simply sent through on the email - done! It really is about making delegation a habit in your life, both at home and at work. I've written about complete delegation here, and encourage to you take a look at this concept. It will help your delegation err on the side of success rather than failure.
A, M or D?
For now however, if delegation is not your forte, you really need to take the first step - to start getting into the habit! Today I encourage you to write down a list of all the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis, add to it throughout the day. Then at the end of the day, I want you to mark each one an A, M or D. A - it absolutely has to be me, no one else can do this task, truly. M - maybe I could delegate this tasks but I will need to take a bit of time to prepare. D - Delegate it! Do it now! Or as Richard Branson says, "Screw it, let's do it!" Your goal is to have at least one, yes only one (but if you have 10 or more, go for it!) item on this list that you can delegate right now. You must have at least one item on this list because you are going to delegate it, you are going to start your delegation habit!
So, what are you going to delegate?
On my list to delegate is the design of some new graphics for an email series I am developing. I have been putting this on the back burner because I knew I needed to take time to focus and get it right. However, if I spent half an hour today preparing a brief and posting it to elance.com or odesk.com, then this job, which is potentially going to be ongoing each month, will get done with very little input from me! Can you imagine!
So, what are you going to delegate? I encourage you to share in the comments below, on facebook or via twitter to @lifestylelement using #delegateit, the one (or 10!) things you are going to delegate. Make it public, make yourself accountable, and get your delegation habit started!