My son recently became a store manager for a large coffee chain. The other day, he told me he typically works 80 hours a week. He said his boss knows he needs to work fewer hours and asked my son to describe a typical day. In addition to doing his job as a manager, it turned out that he still performed his duties as a shift supervisor. He didn’t understand the buzz about the Delegate and Elevate tool and struggled to let go of his former duties.
I’ll Just Do It Myself
I explained to my son that he suffers from a common disorder known as “Never mind, I’ll just do it myself.”
This disease stems from a root cause of time and training. My son needed to take the time to identify an owner of a task and train that person to do it. Then it required suffering through the person making mistakes as they worked through the learning curve. In the end, my son found it much easier and faster to just complete a task himself.
To add insult to injury, his employees know he tends just to do things himself. So they act like they’re struggling to complete a task knowing he’ll continue to take over for them. And this perpetuates his continuing to do things he should no longer do.
Making the Most Impact
Making the most impact in your company starts by determining how you best serve your team and your company. If you have an overflowing plate, what can you do to have the work-life balance necessary to live your best life?
The solution lies in your answers to the following four questions:
1. Do we still need to do this activity?
Many times in a company, we do things because we’ve always done them. Ask yourself if this task still creates value. Sometimes, you’ll find a simpler way.
2. Is there an app for that?
Can you automate a task so that technology can perform it instead? Many businesses began doing an activity manually before automating it once the appropriate technology became available. You can save countless hours by implementing more efficient automation processes.
3. Can I outsource this?
Does it make sense to outsource an activity to a third party who can do it more efficiently? Outsourcing does come with associated costs. But consider the opportunity cost of taking you away from the best use of your time. Have you missed taking advantage of opportunities because you spent too much time performing other tasks?
4. Should I be doing this task?
Does the task really involve a process so complex that no one else can complete it? Likely not! Identify others who can and should take on this responsibility.
Learning to Let Go
In my son’s case, he best served his company by using his passions for scheduling, processing payroll, and leading and managing his team. In order to free up his time, he needed to delegate activities falling outside these activities.
The path to a healthy work-life balance lies in the selfless act of empowering others by delegating lower-quadrant activities. Lean into the activities you need to do to be successful in your role. This allows the team around you to be successful in theirs.
You can find the Delegate and Elevate template in the free EOS Toolbox™.