- Make a don’t want to do list
- Ask yourself: What can I…
- Delegate (see below)
- Outsource – consider (as can afford) outsourcing:
- Do less well
- Perfect is the enemy of the good enough and takes up too much time!
- Not do at all
- Give yourself a break – do you really have to make handmade holiday gifts like your next door neighbor does, or mini valentines day gift bags for everyone in your kids’ class?
- Prioritize – keep the important stuff for you and delegate the rest
- Look for win-win situations where the person you delegate to gets something out of it
- For example, mentoring a trainee in writing a book chapter or getting a junior faculty member on a committee
- You can’t set it and forget it – need clear expectations and follow-up with delegatee
- Be clear on what needs to be done, how to do it, and the timeframe / deadline
- Check in frequently
- Delegate down = mentoring someone junior (this also can reduce burnout!)
- Delegate up also – your boss or someone more senior may be able to accomplish something in a matter of minutes or with a simple phone call that would take you much longer
4. Micromanagement is inefficient
- Teach those you supervise how to do tasks for themselves rather than doing it for them
- Same for children – teach them to be independent (eg make a snack, make their bed, fold their laundry, etc); teach spouses too if necessary!