Why should you excel at a few and delegate the rest?
You might wonder “Why excel at a few and delegate the rest?”, Let me tell you a story;
At Get Lean Strength we strongly believe in becoming stronger every day.
This is not always physical, as we also look into the psychological part of getting strong and lean. This means getting Strong while cutting out all unnecessary things (the lean part).
This is especially important in Leadership, Business and Personal Life.
And in our ambition to become stronger we often make our biggest mistakes! One of them is to try to be good at everything and to try and do everything ourselves!
There is an old saying that I like, and it fits well into this situation:
If you chase two rabbits at the same time, you’ll catch none.
Let that sink in.
Now think back to the last situation where you tried to do everything yourself, and become good at everything and in the end all you did was waste your own time and resources?
I will share with you two examples from my life:
Example 1: With this business (Get Lean Strength)
When I started out I tried to do everything myself; Building a website, SEO (Search engine optimization), Doing research, Learning Copywriting, writing articles, Marketing etc. etc. etc.
The only downside: I did not know how to do any of it! So I spend hundreds of hours reading books, trying things out, failing, trying again and so forth until I got a half decent website, several way-too-long articles and I got to page 10 of Google Search Results.
Pretty crappy results for hundreds hours of work. If I simply hired someone to do the things that I could not do, such as marketing and building a website, and only focused on a few things myself this site would have been a success a few years earlier.
Now on to example #2: My professional life as entertainer.
In my day to day job I am an international Entertainer and currently work on several cruise ships around the world.
Now one pitfall is that we try to please everyone, and that most people are afraid of getting complaints, because that means sitting in an office, explaining your actions to your boss etc.
My strong points are hosting Trivia’s, Gameshows, Dance classes etc. and my weakest points are Arts and Crafts classes.
When I first got into a position of Leadership, where I was responsible for making the schedules for the Team I made the mistake of trying to make everything fair for everyone. And trying to make everyone happy.
Therefore, I scheduled myself, and others for every single activity, on a nice and fair rotation.
The result? The ratings that the guests gave us went downhill!
The reason for this was that in my attempt to be fair, I scheduled people for things that they were not good in, myself included instead of what I should have done: Schedule people to do the jobs that they were good in.
Now these are just two examples from my own life, let us look at how you can use this to have more free time, become happier and more productive at the same time!
Time is running out, every second that you are doing something that you are not good at, or that you do not like is wasted.
You have 86400 seconds in a day or 30758400 seconds in a year, and it is the only commodity, or resource that you will never get back!
I hope that you have enough self-respect to realize that this is a losing battle and that you are throwing your life away if you waste your time with unnecessary things, or things that you are not good at!
So Stop it right now! Do not waste any more seconds than you really need too!
You need to be able to scale your productivity
If you want to be successful at anything in your life, you need to be able to scale your productivity.
When you choose to do everything yourself you can only scale up to the maximum amount of time that you have available!
This is never a good choice, as if you do that you live to work, instead of that you live to enjoy life!
Do not live to work, work to live!
The only way to scale your productivity is if you either:
And this is one of the first things that anyone should do when you want to take control back of your life.
Automate as much as possible, and what you cannot automate you delegate!
Nobody pays for average
Another problem with trying to do everything yourself is that you will become a jack of all trades: A master of none and average at the rest.
And let me tell you a little truth: Nobody pays for average!
Now you might think to yourself “But, I am really good at this!”
Let us look at how good you really are.
They say that it takes an average of 10.000 hours of focused practice to become good at something.
The average attention span of an adult is supposed to be 45 minutes, although many Experts believe that in this day and age of continuous digital entertainment our attention span has shrunk to only 20 minutes at a time with 10 minutes break in between.
I will save you the mathematics, but in short this means that we actually need to dedicate a good 16.666 hours to become good at something.
If you somehow manage to set away 4 hours of practice a day, which is for most people almost impossible, it would take you only 4167 days, or 11.7 years of practicing every single day, 4 hours a day to become an expert in just one thing.
“why would I need to become an expert, when I can be just average at everything?” you ask me.
Well, that is definitely possible, however there is one little catch: nobody pays for average!
Not even if the price is “just” their time.
Just imagine this:
It’s an average Friday, you wake up and take an average shower, drink an average coffee, then kiss your average wife, with which you have an average relationship, goodbye. Drive in your average car to your average job, where you work an average 8-hour day, then drive home and because it’s an average Friday you take your wife to an average restaurant, where you ask for an average waiter, that will offer you average food and an average wine. After your dinner you drive home and you think to yourself “hey, I’m averagely filled and satisfied from that meal” then you’re lucky and have average sex with your wife… etc. Etc. etc.
Does this image bore you already?
Sadly, this is exactly the scenario that you are creating for yourself if you try to be good at everything!
People do not pay for average, they only pay a little bit for” good” and are willing to pay a lot for ”great”.
And you cannot be great at many things, as we only have so much time to spend!
The sad little truth is: unless you are an expert at something, all your work will just be “Average” at best.
There is no value in that!
The Multi-Tasking Myth
One little side note that I would like to touch base with is that a lot of people believe that they can multi-task.
Now do you believe that you can multi-task?
Thinking that you can multi-task is the same as believing in the Easter bunny. It is complete nonsense!
Studies have shown over and over again that the human brain can only focus on one thing at a time.
Sure you might be thinking about other things as well, but that is just a sign that you are not really focusing.
And if you do not focus, guess what? You are not giving it your best! And that means that you are once again…. Wasting time!
A person can only think about one thing at a time, Multi-tasking is the same as quickly switching between A B C D and repeat.
Now let us do a little test will you?
I want you to multi-task four little things:
- Make a Sudoku
- Write an essay
- Clean the desk
- Write down how you want your life to look like in 5 years from now.
Now look at how long it will take you to complete it all while multi-tasking.
Ok, now let us do the following four things, however start with #1 and stay on that until you’ve completed it, and then continue to #2 and so forth.
- Make another Sudoku
- Write another essay
- Clean something else
- Write down how your life would look like right now if you were a millionaire.
Look at how long it will take you to complete all of them correctly.
I can assure you that you took a lot less time, and put out higher quality work when you were only doing one thing at a time.
Now remember that “Nobody pays for average!”
When you multi task all you’ll do is put out “Average work” at best.
So do not waste your time like this either!
This was the first article in the miniseries Excel at a few, Delegate the rest.
In this post you learned several reasons why you should take this life lesson seriously.
In the second Article we will discuss “How to Excel at a Few“.
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