Delegation is such an interesting topic. It is full of emotion many times and there are a very wide array of viewpoints.
Having been a manager for the majority of my life, this topic has always been at the forefront of my mind. How can I get more done? How can I find time to think and plan? Now I watch other managers and see how they do things to see where they are on this issue. It’s always interesting to watch. That way, I get to see myself in some of my travels through another.
Stephen R Covey, who wrote the mega-seller, The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People, had a chart that was about how we spend our time and what value that time has as a result. In his book, he called it The Time Management Matrix from the third habit: Put First Things First. He also wrote a book on that subject.
The matrix was four boxes of activities. The left side was marked Urgent, the right side, Not Urgent. The two boxes on top were marked Important, and the two on the bottom, Not Important.
Quadrant I consisted of Urgent and Important activities, such as, Crises, Pressing Problems, Deadline-driven projects.
Quadrant II consisted of Not Urgent and Important activities, such as Prevention, PC (Production Capability, Preventative Care, Expansion) activities, Relationship building, Recognizing new opportunities, Planning, Recreation.
Quadrant III consisted of Urgent but Not Important activities, such as Interruptions, Some calls, Some mail, Some reports, Some meetings, Proximate, Pressing matters, Popular activities.
Quadrant IV consisted of Not Urgent and Not Important activities, such as Trivia, Busywork, Some mail, Some phone calls, Time wasters, Pleasant activities.
“The key to effective management of self, or of others through delegation, is not in any technique or tool or extrinsic factor. It is intrinsic–in the Quadrant II paradigm that empowers you to see through the lens of importance rather than urgency." — Stephen R. Covey
It seems that generally in the work world that to be in Quadrant II is not as valued because it is not physically active, or that they expect you do that on your own time. So much time as a manager is spent in Quadrants I and III, and a little in IV. If you’re a manager, consider where you spend the majority of your time. After I read this book when it came out in 1989, I began looking more closely at my own activities at work.
This is where delegation comes in. As a manager, or as a commissioned salesperson, there are ways to either delegate tasks that keep you out of Quadrant II or to let them go entirely. I know that I have steadily improved on delegating. I think our company gets better the more time I have to think, plan and consider opportunities. I’m working toward 100% delegation . . .
Abraham, Esther Hicks has a great way to look at delegation: “Most people have a hard time delegating, or even wanting to delegate, because you have been justifying your existence through your hard work, and you equate success with struggle; you equate results with struggle. And so, you sort of wear your struggle like a badge of honor. And all of that is opposite of allowing the Well-being. The only thing that ever matters in success or achievement is achieving the things that you want to achieve. So if you are setting standards and you’re feeling uncomfortable about the standards that you’ve set, tweak the standards back a little bit. Ratchet it back a notch. Give yourself a break. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Lighten up. Be easier. Go slower. Take it easy. Have more fun. Love yourself more. Laugh more. Appreciate more. All is well. You can’t get it wrong. You never get it done."
That’s definitely, Quadrant II stuff. . .
Enjoy! Live! Love! Be Yourself! Everything Is Fine.
Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of those urgent things. Chill.