The Cost of Perfect

Posted: June 13, 2012 in General Information
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All of us come to a place, whether it is at home or in our careers, where we just can’t seem to get anymore done. We’re all busier than ever and there are some questions that we need to ask ourselves.  If you’re a busy mom at home with the kids, a career woman, a man hard at work or business man growing your bottom line-the profit- you all have a common denominator when it comes to doing things “right” or “perfect”. Ask yourself if you can keep doing all of this by yourself or should you get some help? At home you can rally the troop if the kids are old enough to manage some of the tasks. If you want to do more business, the answer is obvious…give up some of your responsibilities so that you can “multiply yourself”. You delegate some of your tasks to your support team. For some individuals, delegation can be rather painful…perfectionism creeps in! “No one does it as well as I can”. Or so you think!

I heard the story a husband and wife who decided on a Saturday morning to go out and rake the lawn. Each took one half of the lawn and raked up the leaves and the dead grass. When they were done, the husband looked at his wife’s handiwork and then went over and re-raked her side to his satisfaction! You have to admit that this is pretty funny! Picture yourself being the next door neighbour watching this exercise play out. The good news is, in this particular situation the wife is very tolerant of her spouse’s foibles and just laughs about it.

Here is your ACTION STEP…Are you like that? Do you always want to go over and “rake the other side of the lawn”? Do you have trouble accepting the way other people do the tasks you have delegated…the ones you used to do “better” by yourself? Delegation really boils down to accepting “the lesser of two evils”. You know that a 7 year old will not make the bed like you do but here are some ideas to deal with delegation effectively whether at home or at work:

1. Accept the fact that you can’t do everything yourself.
2. Establish what your minimum standard of performance is when delegating… what are you prepared to accept?

3. Avoid perfectionism… the purpose of the exercise is to get more done, right?

4. DON’T HOVER… Outline to your helpmate, children, co-workers, employees exactly what you want and leave them alone.

5. Gain confidence in their ability to perform the tasks at hand and start delegating more (and bigger) items.

6. Complement a job well done, just because it wasn’t done exactly the way you would have done it doesn’t mean it’s not acceptable.

Don’t try and do everything yourself. Start delegating little things and move on from there. Learn the financial principles of paying for work done. That means no allowance for the kids but they get paid a set amount for doing the number of assigned jobs (as per Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University). From there you can teach them the value of saving money from what they earned rather than have them think that money grows on trees. You can also teach them the value of giving to those  less fortunate.  At work consider that the hired help is who helps you get the job done, so fair pay for work done is crucial. Consider bonuses and gift cards to maintain appreciative attitudes.
As your confidence and trust in others grow, their confidence will also grow. Donald Trump doesn’t clean all the office buildings he owns. Bill Gates doesn’t write all the software at Microsoft. Learning to let go is a critical part of building a great environment for all involved. Think bigger and get more done in every way.

  1. Just Jewel says:

    Great advice. Delegation is something I continuously struggle with in and out of work. Thanks for sharing these tips.