Delegate, Delete or Delay

We all have only 24 hours in a day.

Finding a balance between work and family relations has always been a challenge for every corporate person. Let me share with you a simple technique that can help you find the time you need to enjoy both family and the demands at work.

Delegate. Never have an attitude that everything should be done by you. There are a lot of things that can be done if you simply learn the art of delegation. It can also be fun, because first you have to understand what needs to be done before you can successfully delegate. It requires proper planning, meeting and choosing the right person for the job. You need to plan ahead and decide what scope of the project can be delegated. This requires you to communicate better and take responsibility of the task to be done. You need to follow up consistently and make sure that the person you delegated the work to will be able to deliver on time. This can foster team building. People avoid delegating because they either have a communication problem or they do not want to share or teach others. They are not being a leader, nor a team player. Communication is what a leader does and it is the key to any successful endeavour.

As the famous excuse goes, “Oh, my plate is so full” but as my partner Dato’ Vijay always says to me, “Get a bigger plate.”

Delete. Give time every morning to make a list of the things you think need to be done for that day. Prioritise and rewrite it again. Separate the urgent things from the important things.

The urgent things on your list today are the things that you failed to prepare and plan for in the past. It is now an emergency only because of your failure to plan.

The important things in your list are the items that are not an emergency, but you know damn well that they will benefit you in the future; things like saving money, spending time building a relationship, learning a language, developing a skill, getting healthy etc. Items that you will not need, you do not put in your list, such as, smoking, drinking, gambling, idle gossiping, going window shopping and other such senseless activities that will not add value to what you want to achieve nor will harness any of the skills you need to be successful. Be mindful of such useless activities and delete them.

Delay. You can delay projects or things that cannot be delegated or deleted. These things will probably need your personal attention, but not immediately, but make sure that you mark them on your calendar. Putting it on the calendar is a commitment that you make and the days leading to that day can be small preparation(s) that will not take up so much of your time in your already busy schedule. ‘Busy-ness’ is a state of mind and a disease of the heart. Refer to my past Gem of Wisdom, ‘Busy’. In reality, 24 hours a day is perfectly crafted and created by God and we should never think that there is a flaw with time or that somehow there is not enough time in the day to do things of relevance to create a happy life.

Please take a moment to ponder and learn how to delegate, delete and delay.

This will give you the balance that you need. Do not blame work or family. No one forced you to be where you are. It is your choice, so please learn to manage your life.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

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