Are you a do-it-all type? You know, the type of person that has his or her hands on all sorts of jobs or projects at home and work. Seemingly specializing in a jack-of-all-trades mentality. If you are one of these types of people, it seems you never have enough time in a day to get things done, right? But it feels so good to say you did this and did that. Well, you know the saying: the most effective person is not necessarily the one who does the most, but the one who gets the most done.
Well sometimes, I’m one of “those” people. I oversee several projects and agendas for my company ranging from managing my sales team and conducting competitive analysis for the marketing department, to developing sales training seminars and updating sales related reference sources. And that’s only the tip of my ice burg! No wonder I don’t have enough time in my work day. Oh, and this spills, or should say overflows, into my personal life as well. Lets see now, I fix the cars, do all the house repairs, yard work, computer and network administration, webmaster for several web sites, forum moderator, and manage my wife’s finances for her business. Boy, that’s too much stuff to get done.
Last year, I decided to cut things back and specialize on just a few core interests and areas of expertise. Basically, become the one who gets the most done. I had to. It was getting harder and harder to live up to everyone’s expectations at home and work. For work, I decided to focus primarily on all aspects related to my sales team and secondly on competitive analysis. For home, I automated some of the computer maintenance jobs and cut back on some of the home/car repairs. There is a lot more detail to all of this, but I won’t bore you with all that.
How do you do it? Here’s some bullets I used.
- Specialize in a few core interests– Prune things way back. Separate things into two groups: Work and Home. Then sort out what your core skill sets are and build your project lists around those skills. But, stick close to your skill set or your list will just get bigger and bigger again!
- Delegate-C’mon, you can let go of some of it. If a job is too big or is too much to take on, just let it go man! There are plenty of coworkers or friends that can do things just as good if not better than you! Yes, they do exist.
- Just say NO– This is the biggest one for do-it-all types. Learn to tell your boss or spouse NO. Belly up to the bar and state, “No, I don’t have the time to do this as well.” If you don’t, others will take advantage of your do-it-all mentality to pile more and more of their work on you. Learn to say it. Practice in the mirror. Whatever it takes!
- Spend money to get help– Sometimes saving a buck or two is just not worth the time it takes from your life! Spend the $40 for a repairman to look at the washer or dryer. Call the cable company and have them look at the DVR to see why it’s not working. Start taking your work clothes to the dry cleaners. Sometimes that little extra cash you spend gives you a lot of extra personal time do do things with friends and family.
That’s just a quick and dirty on how I came to terms with my Do-It-All mentality. How can you narrow your area or specialization in an effort to become more effective at work and home? How are you delegating? Most importantly, how are you getting the most done?