Delegate the Things You Can't or Won't Do

Tips to identify things you really shouldn't do yourself.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #1

How to Delegate

If you need something done, find someone to help. Tax troubles? Use a  tax preparer. Reclaim your life and read Harry Potter  while your tax  preparer happily slaves away over form 892-stroke-J. Do you hate filing? Take out a Craigslist ad and hire a local student for a couple of hours each week. That's what I'm doing. In fact, there are so many colleges near my apartment, I'm hiring an assistant to prepare and post the job descriptions for the student job boards.  Yes, I'm that lazy.

How to Delegate at Work

And if you work in a corporation, don't think you can't do this, too. For some reason, employees seem to think they can't hire help that isn't provided by their company. You can! You can hire a virtual assistant who can give you admin support that your company is too cheap to provide. You pay VAs hourly, and it's so much nicer to pay a VA $40 than to waste a day each month filling out your expense reports. Of course, your company may have policies against outsourcing work related to the company, so do double-check with your boss before you try this at home.

How to Figure Out What to Delegate

The most  successful people concentrate on their strengths and passions and  delegate their weaknesses to someone else.

So ask yourself what you do that you don't enjoy or don't enjoy.  Figure out how to get someone else to do it. Hire someone. If that's too expensive, trade favors with a friend. Or consider family members. It just might be time for your 85-year-old live-in grandmother to start earning her keep. Or if you have kids, just remember: you're not breaking any child labor laws if you don't pay  them. So don't bother having them clean their room; have them clean your room. You'll enjoy it better.

Which brings us back to the question at hand. Unbury yourself from quarterly paperwork and just hire a bookkeeper! It took  me 10 years to use my first tax preparer, and another 10 to hire a  bookkeeper. Don't make my mistake. Yes, it's a new expense. But it's hard to convey how free I feel. Remember Maria in The Sound of Music, dancing around the Swiss Alps, her skirt swirling in the wind? I feel like that, only in pants. It was well-worth the money, and the time I used to spend counting receipts and poring over Quicken can now be spent writing about The Sound of Music. Windows or Julie Andrews? The choice is clear.

Start Delegating Today

Start small. My first-ever outsourcing was having a cleaning service visit once a month. Then, it was tax preparation followed by bookkeeping and website maintenance. More recently, a plumber now installs our faucets, so I don't flood the kitchen while proving my manhood by installing a new faucet. Who knows what's next, there's a culinary school just across the street, and I'm sure students would welcome the opportunity to practice their gourmet skills while bringing joy to a hungry podcaster. Hmm. [[AdMiddle]

Please send your comments, questions, and anything you'd like me to address in a future episode. Until then, work less, do more, and have a great life.


Virtual assistants: http://www.AssistU.com
General classifieds: http://www.Craigslist.com
Subcontractors for professional projects (writing, presentations, etc.) http://www.eLance.com
Home repair, services, etc.: http://www.AngiesList.com

P.S. Speaking of delegating your misery...i found a great service that allows you to outsource your personal assistant needs to India for $15/hour! www.getfriday.com

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.