I'm no Superwoman!

The closest I'll ever get to being a superhero is when we have dress-up parties to attend. Photo circa 2014.

Hi readers :-)

This week's blog is something that I have been wanting to talk about for a long time and have been waiting for the right words to come along. Well, they came to me today.

I regularly get comments such as "I don't know how you do it all!" or, "You're superwoman" and my honest answer is "I don't do it all!" Over the years I have gone from a 'control freak' to someone who loves to delegate whatever I can, whenever I can. Learning the art of delegation is something I educate managers about so it would be contradictory of me if it wasn't something that I implemented in my own personal and work life.

People may associate delegation with losing control and think that 'no one else can do it as good as me'; these are common excuses managers and business owners use, and are things that I still catch myself saying as well. This results in us working in a manic state, trying to achieve everything that ideally should be spread among our team members, or in some cases delegating externally (ie. Getting your accountant to code your transactions). If you continue to work in this manic state you can say goodbye to any sort of work-life blend you may dream of.

Now, I'm not going to tell you exactly what tasks or things you should be delegating, everyone has their own level of delegation that they feel comfortable with based on their business, their time in life and in some cases budget. Instead I have created the most simple flow chart you have ever seen to make it nice and easy for you (see further down in the blog).

Before you start delegating set yourself some ground rules. The purpose of delegation is not to have no responsibility left for yourself, it's to have a better understanding of where your (valuable) time should be spent and empowering your team members in the process. Another rule should be to keep any tasks that you enjoy. For example, I could easily delegate the making of my children's birthday cakes but I get enjoyment out of making them myself.

Follow this flow chart to figure out what you can delegate. Go on, do it! :-)

Let's look at question one: "Can someone else do this?"

Business owners and managers, I'm looking at you. It's time to leave your ego's at the door, there are no medals handed out for doing it all yourself. And who knows, if you empower one of your team members they may not do it exactly how you do it but their way might make more sense. There's always something to be gained from getting a fresh set of eyes on a task/action.

If the answer to question number one is 'YES', then DELEGATE. If the answer is 'NO" then move to question two.

Question number two: "Can I teach someone to do this?"

If you are wanting to give delegation on a particular task but have realised no one around you is skilled to action it then teach them. Now you might be thinking that you don't have the time to teach someone else how to do it and when this thought crosses your mind I want you to think of the outcome. You might be spending 1 hour each week paying your suppliers, when you teach a team member to do this you will gain that hour back each week. That’s an extra 52 hours in the year for you to be doing something more valuable with your time. Also, remember to be patient when you are teaching someone a new skill and resist the urge to take-over (in a previous role I used to sit on my hands when teaching someone a new skill to stop my hands from grabbing the mouse).

If the answer to question number two is 'YES', then DELEGATE. If the answer is 'No' then be satisfied that it is your responsibility for now but stay curious about how you could perhaps delegate this in the future.

Like I mentioned earlier I use this in both work and personal life. At home my husband and I are a team, I am definitely no Superwoman when it comes to maintaining a household, looking after children, being a doting wife and running a business all at the same time. I actively delegate (ie. ask for help) when I need it, and I'm not embarrassed to say that (goes back to all the points above, there are no motherhood medals for doing it all yourself). From getting family to do the school run, minding the kids and taking washing off the line to hiring external help. I realised a long time ago that I cannot do everything in life and stay sane. It is exactly the same in business.

There you have it, my easy to follow flow chart on how to get some of your valuable time back.

Now off you go and put this into action.

Have a great day :-)

- Amy

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I change the captions on these blogs every week to see if anyone pays attention to the finer details. I like to do little human behaviour experiments like that ;)