I've actually become one of these people over the years, after realizing that there was a more efficient way to get tasks checked off my to-do list than to horde them all for myself. I am someone that always has many projects on their plate, work commitments, an active social life, and just when I think I can't possibly do any more, I do something crazy like take on a new consulting client.
How do highly functioning people do it? For many it's possible that they just need less sleep, work really quickly (we all have a different method and pace of work) or are very motivated. The explanation is often far simpler than that.
You're probably familiar with the saying, "work smarter, not harder." It's time to realize that working smart is just as important as working hard, and mastering the art of outsourcing and delegating is a valuable skill set.
I oftentimes get asked if I could go back in time and do something over again, what would I do differently when starting my company Bikini Luxe. My answer is always the same, "I wish I had learned how to delegate earlier, and allowed people to help me sooner. I was an overachiever, and thought I could do it all."
When I discovered that I was better off focusing on my strengths, and outsourcing work to people who were better at the tasks I suffered through, I ultimately got more work done. Not only more work, but also better quality work.
Here's how to delegate and work smarter, not harder.
First, realize that nobody can do it all.
Brush aside any impressions that you have that there is shame in asking for help. There are lots of talented people out there who can help, and by acknowledging their talents with respect and harnessing those talents, you are showing that you can be an effective boss, entrepreneur or manager.
Use skilled freelancers.
By learning to master the skill of outsourcing and delegating to a virtual assistant, not only will you save countless, priceless hours, but you can also save tens of thousands of dollars when compared to hiring an in-house employee. If you're on a budget, check out a service like Fiverr, which often has high-quality professionals offering low cost service solutions.
Find a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants can be a valuable asset to your business and a great way to buy back time. How much money are those tedious and repetitive tasks costing you?
If you've considered outsourcing some of your work, but don't believe there's anyone competent enough to do your work other than you, you should consider at least testing a VA before settling on that conclusion.
Learn to delegate.
Once you have prioritized what's important to you, the next step is to delegate the rest. How do you decide who does what? Matching the requirements of the task you're delegating to the abilities of the person you're delegating to.
Keep track of your staff and your workers.
If you find people that you trust to work with you, you should have no trouble letting some of the work go. If you're nervous at first, start slow. Establish controls, put limits on the work and what they will do, and provide support by keeping up to date with projects. Eventually, you will withdraw from the processes and procedures learn to focus on the results.
Don't forget to say thank you.
When the job is done, give recognition where it's due. Saying thank you is part of how you build a trustworthy team. The better the relationship you have with these people, the easier they will make your life.
Remember that delegation and outsourcing low-value, low-priority tasks will allow you more energy to focus on what you love and what you do best, and ultimately, to grow your business and create new opportunities for yourself. This was key in the building of my own brand, and is probably the best piece of advice I could offer anyone struggling to build their business.