Being in Balance by Delegating Duties
We often get caught up in building and growing our businesses. It is essential to success that we create balance along the way. A key principle created to reduce stress and guilt has been touted as the magnificent work/life balance.
According to Dr. Wayne Dyer, stress doesn’t really exist. He expressed in his book, Being in Balance, “the key to balancing your desire to be at peace with your need to achieve, perform, and earn a living is in recognizing that there’s no such thing as stress; there are only people thinking stressful thoughts…” (p. 21).
In his book, Dr. Dyer goes on to say that stress is inside. It does not exist in physical form, yet millions of people suffer from stress-related illness every day. Now, the first thing I have to say, is why didn’t I stumble upon Dr. Dyer’s book in law school. It would have been nice to discover that stress didn’t exist while dealing with 100 page nightly reading assignments, case briefing, and class prep.
As a business owner, you are not only the founder or the decision maker, but also the marketing director, janitor, and bookkeeper in many cases. It is important for small business owners to revisit work/life balance several times throughout the year to avoid burning out or getting overwhelmed with all the plates one is twirling.
Below is a list of tips I put together over my years as a business owner as a way to make sure I am balancing the demands of work and home. No matter what kind of business you are in, manufacturing, product-oriented, or service business, the basic principle of work/life balance is essential to continued growth and success.
I usually revisit this list of steps quarterly, or every six months on my calendar to make sure I am still on track and optimizing my potential.
The steps I use are as follows:
- Write down simple actions you find yourself doing daily or weekly that seem to be taking up your time. For example, volunteer situations that have come up, cooking, 3 lunch dates per week.
- Categorize things that are optional, others can do, and you must do.
- Brainstorm on other ways to accomplish the same thing with less work or accomplish more of it in less time. For example, turn 3 lunch dates per week with one person to – lunch with 4 friends, networking, and a seminar. This way you use the same amount of time, 3 lunches, and get to connect with fifteen or twenty people per week.
- Streamline your processes for activities you must do. For example, if you feel the need to do all the cooking, streamline the process with weekend prep sessions, or crockpot dinners during the week.
- Determine which of the optional things you are doing are really helping you. Possible solutions are to make sure your optional activities are in line with your overall goals. For example, if coaching your son’s soccer team is necessary, maybe this is a great way to connect with potential customers, or sponsoring the team will help with your advertising in your community.
- Delegate as many tasks as possible that others can do. If you’re spending 1 day a week on bookkeeping tasks, it may be time to get a part-time office assistant. Essentially, if your efforts would be better off doing more money making tasks, you can pay someone to do your other tasks.
- Finally, look through the tasks you think or feel can only be done by you. If needed, map out the process or procedure and teach another to do the task the way you want it done.
Ideally your end result will be to delegate more tasks to others opening your plate for more effective use of your time.
You may want to add or delete steps, but I have come to use these steps in both my work and home tasks.
Dyer, W. W. (2006). Being In balance: 9 Principles for creating Habits to match your desires. Hays House, Inc.: Carlsbad, CA).