Back in January I won a blog contest. Part of the prize was 30 hours of a virtual assistant through the website TaskUs. This week I finally started cashing in my winnings and had my new assistant do some menial tasks I had been putting off. I now have a detailed spreadsheet of small business grants I can apply for and another spreadsheet of upcoming writers conferences. A new world has opened up for me. It reminded me of the importance of delegating.
I remember reading about delegating in Jack Canfield's book The Success Principles and more recently on his blog. He encourages people to focus on their core genius and do what they do well and then delegate the rest.
In theory this is an awesome idea, but for some people, like myself, it isn't always easy to implement. Often when I start down the path of finding or hiring someone to help me with tasks, I realize that I will have to explain what needs to be done and then I second guess whether or not they can do it as well as me (or as well I think I can do it). By this time I usually throw in the towel and do it myself.
The idea that "I can do it all" is not an effective one. I found this out first hand at my third Northern Colorado Writers Conference. I literally tried to do everything for this conference myself. I did all the marketing, decorating, collecting money, graphic design, picking up people from the airport, making schedules for all the presenters, setting up, making the name tags, taking photos and being the point person for everything. During the conference I ran around like a crazed mad-woman and after the conference I was immobilized for 2 days.
I vowed to never do that again, and when it comes to the conference, I have followed through with it. For the past 2 conferences I enlisted help and delegated anything I could. It has changed the way I approach the whole event and everything runs much smoother, making it more successful in the long run.
I realized this week with my TaskUs experience, that we as writers should be following this whole idea of delegating. Could I have taken the time to compile that information I wanted for the spreadsheets? Of course I could have--but would it have been the best use of my time? I don't think so. Instead of getting hopelessly sucked into the World Wide Web for hours and hours, I used that time to write queries and articles. And isn't that what being a writer is all about--actually writing?
As I think more about it there are probably many tasks I can delegate in order to free up time for writing: research tasks, household chores, blog posts, finding appropriate markets/agents and updating my website.
By delegating, we can spend more time on our writing, which will inevitably lead to more success.
What is one thing you can delegate to free up some writing time?