Emma Isaacs, CEO of Business Chicks, is a huge fan of outsourcing. She says “I don’t understand why people wouldn’t outsource as much as they could – there’s no benefit in being a martyr. Even if it means losing out financially, what you gain – time with family – is worth much more.”
I totally agree with her. I bet many of you do. Yet, whilst the theory is sound, taking action and handing over your tasks to someone else is often a daunting prospect. In trying to get my head around why this is so, I’ve discovered some tips that may help make this process easier.
“I don’t understand why people wouldn’t outsource as much as they could – there’s no benefit in being a martyr. Even if it means losing out financially, what you gain – time with family – is worth much more.” Emma Isaacs
1. Recognise the signs: In an article by Amy Gallo on the Harvard Business Review blog, Carol Walker, the president of Prepared to Lead says “A classic sign of insufficient delegation is that you are working long hours and feel totally indispensable.” The old adage is true, the first step is to admit you’ve got a problem. As a personal concierge I do my best to introduce new clients to our service before they get to burnout stage. However, this isn’t always possible. If you can start to recognise the signs, and realise you do have other options (no matter how much you try to convince yourself there isn’t) then you can start making some real changes.
2. Know when to delegate and when not to: I came across some great tips in an article by Sara McCord on mashable.com. The context is within the workplace, but I believe the concepts can apply to your life in general. “Keep the project when it must be done a specific way but delegate if there is more than one right way. Keep the project when it takes longer to explain than to complete but delegate if it’s a skill the employee needs to learn. Keep the project when you really enjoy it but delegate if it’s no longer in your job description.” Things change. Tasks you loved doing or have simply always done may not make sense for you to do now. Making a list of some of these items can go a long way to getting things off your plate.
3. Put aside perfection: In a survey we conducted last year, 35% of women said instead of outsourcing, it was simply easier for them to do it themselves. I have learnt in our line of work, that much of this attitude stems from an idea of perfection. If the task isn’t done exactly as they would do it, then it’s simply not good enough. However, in an article by Jim Schleckser from inc.com , it is suggested that we use the 70% rule. “Put simply, if the person [you] would like to do the task is able to do the task at least 70% as well as they can–they should delegate it.” Schleckser goes on to say, “It’s easier said than done? Yes, certainly. But there is no place for perfection when it comes to delegation. The upside is [you] don’t need to spend any time on the task–zero! ”
Go on, do it!