So what’s the problem? I like to fancy myself a Renaissance woman (and just ask me how that went when I found myself elbow-deep in mortar, attempting to tuckpoint*). And I’m always willing to pitch in a hand and help out, regardless of the pained looks my office staff give me when they find me changing out switch plates, or offering to help take out the trash.
But I’m starting to realize, just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should. And this is a hard lesson for me to learn- I am absolutely terrible at delegating. You’re looking at a girl who spent four weeks raking the lawn to remove the thatch, then aerated it by hand. By hand. (Okay, partly to prove to my husband that I could, but I definitely something I would have done if left to my own devices).
I started to think there might be a problem when I was up on a step-ladder, changing out our sun-bleached shutters.
The first sign was the wasps.
Did you know they like to make nests behind old shutters? Because I didn’t. We didn’t have shutters in the house I grew up in. And I thought it would be an easy enough afternoon project to take down the old set and hang some new vinyl shutters. I’m pretty good with a drill, after all.
But then the wasps showed up. Apparently they didn’t like me removing their home with a screwdriver. And being stung in the hand while precariously balancing over a thorny shrub three feet above the ground is maybe not the best idea. Especially if you rely on your hands for a living. If you’re, say, a surgeon.
Oh, and say you’re mildly allergic.
Now that I’ve terrified you with mental images of paramedics plucking my thorn-speckled body out of the shrubbery, let me reassure you. One can of Raid® later, the wasps were dead, the shutters were hung, and I had a swollen, itchy red hand.
Only twenty or thirty people asked me why I didn’t hire someone to hang the shutters. Which is when I started to wonder if maybe I shouldn’t delegate more things. So here is my new plan. I’ll ask myself the following questions:
- Am I the best person for this job?
- Is this the best use of my time?
If the answer to either question is “no”, I’ll do my best to delegate.
Question: Do you try to do everything yourself? If so, why?
*Tuckpoint – (verb) a hellish experience in which mortar between bricks is painstakingly removed and then replaced. Tediously. In the hot sun. In no way resembling the rest of the wall you are trying to match.
September 12, 2012