This month we’ve been exploring ways to maintain our physical and emotional well-being in 2023. As we close out the month, we turn our focus to what it can look like to live out healthy habits around work rhythms through the art of delegating.
Our work rhythms become comfortable after a while. Even in the mundane day-to-day tasks that don’t necessarily bring us joy, it’s easy to live in the mindset of, “I’ll just do it. I can do it quicker.” But too often, that mindset leads to more stress and frustration. Why? Because we hold onto tasks that can be given to someone else (who may be able to do it better) in order to focus our attention on the things only we can do–move the vision and mission of our work forward.
The art of delegation requires some practice, but it’s an important element in keeping our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being in alignment. This applies to everyone–coaches, pastors and business owners all need to delegate some of their responsibilities in order to maintain healthy rhythms of life and not be overwhelmed by the tasks of every day.
If you’re finding that you don’t have the margin you need to move your vision forward, it’s time to explore how you can give away the tasks that are holding you back. I, too, have found myself in a situation where I needed to let certain responsibilities go so that I could move my coaching forward. Instead of building processes and delegating tasks, I had unintentionally allowed the tasks of the day to monopolize my time. Eventually, I found myself in a real bind. It left me near the end of my emotional bandwidth; I was tired, irritable and not enjoying life. Someone pointed the problem out to me and suggested I delegate some of my workload so I could concentrate on doing what only I could do. It was a simple suggestion that was more complicated to execute.
3 Considerations When Delegating Tasks That are Holding You Back
- Pruning – deciding what tasks others can do and then allowing them to take them on
- Releasing Control – delegating means you have to let go and empower others
- Grieving – you had a rhythm that worked for you; don’t be surprised when it’s hard to let that go
Leaders don’t thrive when they are spread too thin, and the mission suffers for it. Warning signs include mental and emotional exhaustion and feeling spiritually dry. Readiness to prune is usually gauged by pain tolerance. When a leader hits a wall then she/he is probably ready to prune. Pruning away the tasks that are holding you back is the road to increased fruitfulness. Here is an exercise to assess what to prune. First, track how you spend your time and identify the top categories that are taking time. Second, ask the following questions:
- What can you delegate?
- What can you stop doing and no one would notice?
- What can you, and only you, do?
2. Releasing Control
There are a lot of motivations that influence a leader to want to control a situation or another person. The reality is that control is actually not an achievable goal. In very few circumstances can a leader control anything. Control is an illusion! And leaders who struggle with control are STRESSED.
Parents who hover over their kids. Bosses who micromanage employees. Husbands or wives who gaslight their spouse. Coaches who penalize their players unnecessarily. Leaders who over work their team members. Struggling to surrender control is an emotional symptom to a spiritual problem.
Steps to Surrender Control:
Control often has a firm grip on you before you are even aware of it. There is no recovery from control without an awareness that it is a problem.
Control is seeped in judgment and is often multifaceted, involving skewed views of yourself, of others, and even of God. To truly surrender control, it may be necessary to do an inventory of judgements you are holding onto and process through asking for, receiving, and maybe even extending forgiveness to relevant parties (including yourself).
Control will continue holding you back unless you change your relationship with it. And change is never easy. It’s best to have a solid delegation plan in place and then contingency plans to help you when control threatens to surface again.
Questions to Help Leaders Surrender Control:
- What is causing your stress?
- How are you compounding your stress?
- What is a more desirable outcome?
- What new behaviors can you adopt?
- What are some things that you can do to make things right?
Can you grieve the loss of tasks? Absolutely. Every single change involves loss. Changing habits means losing the comfort of a familiar rhythm. You established that rhythm because it met a need and worked for you for a time. But that rhythm is now holding you back and needs to be changed. Delegating means letting go of processes that served you well and entrusting them to others. It means changing your relationship with processes and with people. That’s a lot of change that requires letting go of what has become comfortable and maybe even important to you. It is almost impossible to move on without processing through these losses.
Processing What is Lost
If you want delegation to stick, it is important to acknowledge your loss. Here are some questions to help:
- Which tasks or processes are you feeling uncomfortable delegating?
- In addition to the task, what else are you giving up by delegating it?
- How has that rhythm served you well in the past?
- In what ways is that rhythm holding you back from accomplishing your goals?
- How is passing on this task helping in the development of others?
What I’d love for you to take away from this is that delegating is necessary for strong physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It took me some time but once I started giving away tasks to others, I found myself in a much better place. Bottom line – I became more productive doing the things that only I can do, am gifted at, and enjoy doing.
Christian Coaching Essentials
We’re excited to announce the release of our latest book, Christian Coaching Essentials!
In this book you will discover the power of a comprehensive Christian coaching process. With the purchase of the book you also gain access to a self-led online course and resources! More to be shared in the upcoming weeks leading up to the release of the book, Christian Coaching Essentials!
This blog was adapted from “Drop The Tasks That Are Holding You Back“
January 11, 2023