Get the right specialist for the job

When you need a plumber, do you call the electrician?

Your busy schedule and commitments to work and family make it important that you use your time as productively as possible. Delegating or outsourcing tasks that are distracting, labourious or time-consuming will free you up to avoid stress and enjoy your work and leisure activities more.

You hear about the benefits of specialisation every day. Focussing on what you are best at, honing your skills, exploring your talents and following your curiosity to learn what you are best at and what you like doing the most. People who can do this carve out a niche for themselves: others recognise and respect their abilities and dedication because they are doing what they love and they love what they are doing. When you need a plumber, you don’t call an electrician. It makes sense to get an expert in who has the skills and experience in the particular task you need help with.

There may be other areas where you may need to get better at delegating. Have you noticed how successful people have a team around them to help them get to the top and stay there? They know what the most important skills they have are, and what they like doing the best. And they find other people to help them, whose skills are complementary. That way they can focus their energy and attention on the things that are most important to them.

Are you trying to take on too much? Your body is the bellweather that lets you know how you are doing. When you feel tired, run down, stressed, or in pain, you know you have been pushing yourself to your limits. It feels great to push yourself and set challenging goals for yourself. But you may need some help along the way.

Make sure you have a great mentor, coach or teacher, who can give you helpful feedback, motivation and ideas for how you can improve your performance. You know what you want, but you are not the most objective observer of yourself. Make sure you are getting advice from someone who is an expert in the area you know you most need to improve on.

Value your time, and let others help you if it will make you more efficient and productive. You may be struggling away at something that isn’t in an area of your strength or interest. This creates a bottleneck: more important tasks hinge on you getting through it, but you get stuck thinking you have to work it out on your own. Know when to stop wasting time and to seek guidance or assistance with something that someone else might be better at or enjoy doing more than you. It will help them to feel useful and needed, and help you get through the problem and get on with the next challenge.

Get buy in from others, to expand the potential and improve the outcome of your projects. Whether at work or a personal project, having more talented and creative minds working on a problem will improve the outcome. Someone else might think of something you haven’t tried, or express an idea in a way you haven’t thought of. More people care about the project being a success, so it’s more likely to succeed, and doesn’t require you to be superhuman and to tackle each and every problem you run into on your own.

Schedule regular maintenance and housekeeping. Do you have recurring back or neck pain when you get busy and stressed? That’s a distraciton you don’t need and don’t have to suffer through. Getting treatment early can get you back to peak performance sooner. Don’t suffer in silence and put off dealing with it. Get treatment now and streamline your routine.

Beat the competition. Other people don’t let pride or embarassment keep them from getting the support they need. Your neighbours who look so together and on top of things are dealing with those little niggles early so they don’t become serious problems later. Your competitors are seeking the best advice and support, so they can get an advantage over you with a clear mind and a healthy body, ready to tackle any challenge. Don’t let them get an edge: put your own support system in place.

Offer something in return. Asking for help from someone else might give them the opportunity to ask you to help them with one of their challenges… which could be something are an expert in and love doing. Reaching out can bridge the gap and remind them that you have talents and skills that you would love to put to use helping them achieve their goals, if only they would ask.