Do you really have to do it yourself?

June 30, 2008

OK, I can’t tell how many times I hear an entrepreneur tell me that they can’t possibly delegate some task because “I just don’t have the time to show someone what needs to be done.”

Yes, sometimes delegating a task means taking a little time to tell or show someone what you want done. But you usually only have to tell or show someone what to do ONCE, versus doing the task yourself over and over and over. Which do you think takes more time, ultimately?

“I can do it faster/better myself.” Maybe that is true, but is it really the BEST use of your time? There are many tasks I have delegated, even when I knew I could do it faster or better myself. Ultimately, it came down to getting it done. And I found that if I told someone what I wanted done (rather than how to do it), they will get it done, and surprise me in the process. People are far more creative and capable than we sometimes give them credit for.

The upshot is – do you want the task done? Or do you want it done your way? What do you think you could get done if someone else was taking care of all of those other tasks that need to get done?



Establishing Email Rules

June 14, 2008

I have noticed recently that people either establish rules for themselves for how they deal with email, or they follow someone else’s rules (like their employer’s), or they have no rules.

Have you ever received an email from someone, and then received another email within the hour asking why you haven’t responded to the first? And another, and another?

In my work, I am usually out of my office most of the time. So my rules for myself include checking my email only twice a day – once in the morning, and again at the end of the day. And, I don’t carry any kind of mobile email device. If people need to reach me quickly, they have my cell phone number and can leave me a voicemail (which gets checked far more frequently than email).

I heard Tim Ferriss say recently (on his blog) that we need to stop treating our email as if it were instant messaging. That comment really struck me – and I could see the extent to which it was true. And most of the people I know who were relating to their email that way are the same ones who often say how busy they are all the time, and yet never seem to be able to get anything done.

Here’s an experiment – see if you can deal with your email twice a day this week, rather than reading each one as it comes in. For those of you with electronic email devices (Blackberrys, Trios, etc.) this may mean turning off the sound or vibration notifier.

The world will not come to an end. And, you might be able to get something done…


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