There are many reasons why we try to do everything ourselves, from satisfying our need to be in control to trying to save costs, or simply “wanting the job done right”, all of us find ourselves doing too much when we forget, or haven’t learned to delegate.
Taxes and financial planning are two areas that we often feel we can go it alone, but inevitably find ourselves turning to a professional down the line and realise that the mistakes we’ve made can be far more costly than hiring an expert earlier on. For small business owners, this is often seen in tasks like building a website and marketing strategy, or trying to manage our own accounting and bookkeeping. For homeowners we see this happening when we try to rewire the house, fix a plumbing leak or sort out the dishwasher that stopped working several weeks ago.
Whilst these examples may seem humorous and relatable, sometimes the problems we need to fix are not just tangible or superficial challenges, sometimes they’re related to our mental health or close relationships. Sometimes we desperately need someone else to help us spot our blindspots, our unhealthy habits and the red flags that we’re not able to spot ourselves.
If you try to do everything yourself, you could very well be headed for either burnout or a complete meltdown.
Kathy Paauw from orgcoach.net, says that each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task required along the road to success will be enjoyable. New challenges often involve things that are outside of our own expertise. Attempting to do everything ourselves – succumbing to the Do-Everything-Myself syndrome — is not feasible, since it takes too much time for each of us to learn and do everything ourselves.
As Seth Godin says: “You don’t need more time in your day. You need to decide.” You need to decide what you’re going to focus on, and what you’re going to delegate.
Delegation helps us share the load, and it helps us communicate with others in a way that draws them in and includes them in our journey, whilst making them feel valued and making us feel valuable.
There are three types of tasks that we should identify to delegate:
1 – Tasks we don’t enjoy
2 – Tasks we shouldn’t do (because our time is better used doing something else)
3 – Tasks we can’t do (because we don’t have the expertise)
Remember, you can’t help anyone else until you learn to help yourself first. Delegation is not a lazy strategy, it’s a success strategy. The sooner we can identify the tasks that we shouldn’t be doing, the sooner we can stop doing everything ourselves.