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Delegating to No One

Posted May 16, 2013 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

A revolutionary concept entered my life last week, attributed of course to the most amazing executive coach I know, Beth Ruske from Tiara Coaching. It’s natural, when one is staring at a massive “to-do” list to break that list into categories. Naturally, you immediately think each thing on that list is something you personally need to accomplish. If you’re lucky, you have a team surrounding you both personally and professionally to delegate certain tasks to. As you scan the list, you think some of the following:

  • I can’t make that event, I should ask someone else on my team to go in my place.
  • Oh no, I won’t be able to get to the dry cleaners before it closes. I’ll ask my husband to stop on his way home.
  • I simply don’t have the hours in the day to get through this long-term project successfully, perhaps we can bring in a contractor to help with the work.
  • Can’t I get my own assistant?

When you look at your list this way – What can I do myself? What can I delegate? – Beth Ruske told me (and it’s changed the way I look at my list), that you’re missing one massive place to delegate to – no one.

Take a moment, pause, and think about that concept. What is on your list right now that you could delegate to no one?

What does that mean? It means that something on that list needs to drop. You, my dear, need to drop. the. ball. And if you’re anything like me, your head is spinning right now. Women spinning 100 plates in the air at any time would be screaming, “But I can’t! I can’t just drop something for no reason at all.” The truth is, though, you can! Dropping the ball, breaking one of those spinning plates, what would it really do to hurt you? The truth is….nothing.

So I took Beth’s advice the last couple of weeks, and it’s amazing what I’ve been able to both accomplish and eliminate. Now, I look at my to-do list and I ask myself these questions:

  1. Is this item something I absolutely have to do and no one except me could do it?
  2. Is this item something anyone has to do? Is it urgent and important?
  3. What would happen if this item was never accomplished?

If the answers are “No, no, and no,” then I know who I’m ready to delegate that task to….no one! Join the task list revolution. It might just change your list forever!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."