The Real Truth About Working Smarter, Not Harder
Running a business or department can often stretch you to the limit.
To be effective at doing what you do best, it's imperative to look at what tasks you can either delegate or outsource.
This is an interesting word. For some people it means completely letting go of their responsibilities and getting someone else to do the work. Now that's all well and good providing that you train that person on how you've been handling those tasks. Show them how it's been done first.
For many business owners and managers, delegating means completely abdicating all responsibility for a particular task to somebody else without showing them how. They expect that person to know…immediately.
Well, forget it. No wonder you often hear people say, "I tried to delegate that task but no-one was as good as me at doing it!" Or "I just couldn't find the right person who was capable of taking on those responsibilities".
That's an interesting comment. Often people are given responsibilities for which they have had no training in and are then expected to know how to carry out those duties. A great example of this is when a person is promoted to manager/team leader and he/she is automatically expected to know how to manage themselves and their people.
Coming In From the Outside
How about the new kid on the block who comes in to take up the reins in a position, which has already been vacated. They're expected to run the department or business as if they've been working in the company for the past three years!
When your car needs to be repaired do you spend hours trying to fix it or see a mechanic who takes two hours?
Do you do your own tax return or have an accountant prepare it for you?
If you need a new assistant do you place an ad in the paper, spend hours interviewing people or have a recruitment company do all the ground work and send you the top three applicants?
Why waste your precious time on tasks which will do exactly that…waste your precious time. And time is money!
Use the Experts
Use the valuable input of experts who can take away the stress and hassle and carry out the tasks in a fraction of the time it would take you. Sure you have to pay for it, but isn't it better to work smarter, not harder?
Why spend hours on tasks which are not your specialty?
Identify what you do best then delegate or outsource the rest. In fact, if you truly feel you are good at what you do and are happy to share that, why not teach someone else those same skills, then you could really leverage yourself.
Particularly if you are business owner, this would allow you more time to work on your business rather than in it.
A Word of Caution For Business Owners
Be careful about who you get your advice from. I know of many small business owners who listen to the advice of their personal assistants, spouses and relatives on how they should run their business although those people have never been in business themselves.
By all means get feedback from your people, however if you really want to work smarter, not harder invest some money into a business coach or someone who has already run a successful business so that you can avoid costly mistakes and have someone else offer a fresh perspective. Being too closely involved can give you a tainted view.
The Final Word
Write down all your responsibilities and the tasks that you undertake. Tick the tasks which someone else could realistically do. Then write next to it either the name of the person or type of person/company who can do this for you or offer some expert assistance or support ie. bookkeeper, printing company, personal assistant, coach.
To work smarter not harder, always look at who else can do this work/task. Always look at lightening your load so that you can spend your time doing what you do best.
Lorraine specialises in working with businesspeople showing them how to dramatically boost their productivity, reduce the stress and the mess in their lives and have more time for enjoying their life.