You will never be able to know the value of your time unless you understand the concept of delegation. You can't change the amount of time you have, only how you use it. That's why we've been conditioned to use it wisely. I've learned the importance of qualifying my time TOO MANY times to count. It can be a hard lesson to learn when you're used to being in control and having your hands in everything.
Your time appreciates value A mentor once told me that as I climb the corporate ladder, my time would become more valuable. At first, I considered that an off-putting statement, but when I thought about my responsibilities in comparison to the VP, it made sense. As an intern, I was (barely) getting paid hourly to churn out press releases, make contact with news desks, and monitor news. Meanwhile, she was leading strategy, balancing budgets worth millions of dollars, and making a case for the return on that investment.
While I consider my time to be invaluable, the truth of the matter is it doesn't have the same value to others. Sometimes you have to prove that you know how to use your time wisely. As I began to take on more significant projects, my hourly rate increased. How we delegated our responsibilities depended on the budget and the time we could allocate to that work.
Allocate the time for the big picture, but remember to divvy up time and capacity for the action plan. Delegation protects your vision
Along those lines, your vision is deserving of your focus. Don’t lose sight of your idea from 15,000 so that you can say you have your hands in everything on the ground. You will find yourself busy and not productive. We have romanticized the idea of multitasking when there is nothing sexy about the concept at all. Your excellence requires your full attention. To own your time is to own your vision. Make it count.
The proverbial big picture
If you have a long-term vision or plan, you have to be able to look at the 15,000-foot picture. Yes, breaking down the day-to-day to-dos are essential but remember how it fits into the more significant benchmark.
Black Girl Automagic My cousin balances various endeavors by delegating tasks to his staff, partners, and volunteers. His business team, for example, sells and builds client relationships while he focuses on partnerships, marketing, and strategy. While they develop his clientele, he can focus efforts on marketing. He streamlines advertising with social media templates and marketing tools that allow him to plug in updates so that he can deliver timely content. One tool I love is Canva, which helps build professionally branded content to enhance your strategy. I'm also digging into If This Then That which pretty much automates your entire life. So far, I've created autoresponders via emails, built notifications into my cable, and pushed social media content across social media channels in need of some TLC. The devil is in the details, rebuke it
There was an instance in my previous work when I had to approve a program book as part of a big fundraiser. I was so focused on getting artwork from sponsors and the correctly laying out their ads that I neglected to work with the printer to obtain their specs. As a result, my team and I had to work feverishly to reformat the ads with bleeds so they could fit within the page margins. Instead of sharing the parameter with sponsors upfront, my team had to go back and trim each ad. It produced more work for me, my staff, and the printer as well as headaches for everyone. Try building a vendor relationship from that? Ask for help Kitchen management is an extreme sport. Whether it's the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas; entertaining family can be stressful! You have to time the oven and stove usage so that food doesn't get cold, dries out, or burns. No pressure for someone who is not culinary proficient.
My family came to my rescue this past Christmas, stepping in to carve the turkey, make sure everyone had a beverage, place settings set, and the music was queued up.
The holidays are full of moving pieces, which is why it was important to ask for help. It could have been a blow to my ego to ask for help. But it would have been a bigger embarrassment if I wasn't a gracious hostess. My family was completely understanding and was excited to contribute!
While it can be frustrating to share something you mastered with your team, the reward is worth the headache. In your personal life, look at delegation as an opportunity to bond. I think about kitchen management over the holidays.
Teach them well and let them lead the way When I stepped into the management role at a previous organization, I knew I had the people skills to maintain team cohesion and the skill set to employ marketing strategy. What I lacked was the ability to delegate responsibilities to my team. At first, I would get frustrated with projects that no longer had the capacity (a result of my promotion) and then I would end up doing it myself. In hindsight, I should have trained my staff to take on these tasks so they could develop their skill set and I could focus on strategy and project benchmarking.
Leadership isn't just about leading. Leadership involves building your team to be better and stronger professionals. Love Your Tribe Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Wonder Woman memorabilia. For my 30th birthday, I planned the coolest superhero cosplay party. I planned every detail down to the cityscape cupcake holders and centerpieces. I ran around the city like crazy picking up food; then I had to come and decorate the place by myself. I was running behind schedule when one of my best friends arrived. Without hesitation, she jumped right in setting up highboys and distributing food at the buffet. She said, “Why didn’t you tell me you needed help? I would have come earlier.” Another friend arrived and helped set up the sweets table.
She asked the same question.
I had a tribe of people willing to contribute to my vision of the perfect birthday celebration and were enthusiastic to be a part of my big day, but the control freak in me couldn’t let go of the reigns.
And while I never felt more loved in my life, I realized that the value placed on my creativity could be eclipsed by my inability to delegate.