Do It, Dump It, Delay It, Delegate It... Abdicate It?

Do It, Dump It, Delay It, Delegate It... Abdicate It?

2012-01-24 08:54:19
Life isn't always easy to fit into some fancy formula.

Still, a good game plan is never a bad idea, right?

I'm not sure who to credit for this little gem, but it has been very helpful over the years - especially, when I become my own worse enemy and just keep adding more and more and more items to that "To-Do List" from hell, I am constantly trying to manage.

Below is a formula you can use to categorize all of those tasks on your list of to-do's.

Prioritize your list into categories that work for you - make sure these follow a similar focus as these below, chances are, you'll find this very helpful and you'll get a lot more accomplished during your days, weeks, months and as a result, years (and those years seem to FLY bye lately, don't they?).

1. Do It Now - this is a priority #1 task and needs to be addressed as soon as possible... by YOU generally speaking.

Exercise and diet cannot be delegated, delayed, dumped, or otherwise avoided if you want the benefits. Some things, we just have to do ourselves.

2. Dump It - here's the thing, if you haven't added the item to your list yet, ask yourself "Is this really something I want to add to my responsibilities right now? Do I truly want to take my time to do this at all?" If you find yourself in doubt, do yourself a favor and don't add it to your list, instead, dump it or...

3. Delay It - My delay it list is so long I need a day just to go through it now. It's amazing how many things we conceive that are "emergencies" or "incredible ideas" that, added to the "Delay It" list are soon forgotten with no real impact on your day to day life.

This is the list you quickly add those "I'm just not sure where to put it..." items on so you don't stare at your To-Do list for an hour and a half trying to organize it. Resist organizing your list - too often. It's a wonderful procrastination technique and a terrible habit to keep from doing anything really productive.

4. Delegate It - actually,  this one should go as #2 in your list probably. If you are not delegating, start now. Get help.

If you work 8 hours today - you get 8 hours of productivity done. If you were 8 hours today AND have a Virtual Assistant or other outsource resource or employee who also works 8 hours today - you essentially get 16 hours of work done.

That adds up - fast.

Delegate It can also be automated.

Using tools like autoresponder programs, systems, software, even something as simple as a calculator - can save you a great deal of time. Get the right tool for the job and quit monkeying everything together manually, you'll get a lot more done.


5. Abdicate It? Absolutely NOT. There is a huge gap between delegation and abdication. We delegate. Successful people delegate. Winners delegate. Champions delegate. Abdication is never an option.

If you aren't sure what the difference between abdication and delegation is, you should look it up online and find out - these are night and day different.

To help you understand this, however, here is a short illustration.

About two years ago, my wife and I decided to retire our dishwasher and give our two youngest children the task of washing, rinsing, drying and putting away the dishes each day.

This, we believe, is one of those good places to start teaching them that they are part of a family and everyone in a family has responsibilities for each other.

So, it was time for me to delegate. I set up a time to do a P.E.S.O.S. - my own little formula for teaching which I developed during my janitorial business years.

Prepare, Explain, Show, Observe, Show...

... show, observe, show, observe, show, etc. Until the student understands and get's it right.

I showed my children how to fill up the sink, how hot the water needed to be, how much soap to use, how to fill up the rinse sink correctly, how to dry and where to put away each of the dishes, then - how to clean up when they are finished.

Then, I watched them do it and, over the next week, I'd oversee the process and make adjustments until they were washing dishes like professional restaurant pro's.

They weren't too happy about it, mind you, but the sink isn't stacked full of dishes every day anymore now - so, apparently, the lesson is sinking in - at least a little.

That's an example of delegation...

If I would have simply said; "Do the dishes" then walked away... whose fault would it have been if the dishwater was greasy, dirty and full of food? Who would have been guilty if they didn't rinse properly or dry the dishes well or put them where and how they belong after they were finished?

It would have been my fault - because telling someone to do something without showing them what, at minimum, the end result should look like - is ABDICATION - not delegation.

It's dumping a task on someone else and holding them accountable to a standard that you have not shown them they need to meet.

This is a bad thing - and likely, you'll end up doing your to-do list items abdicated over and over again instead of simply getting them done right, the first time.


Do it, delegate it, dump it or delay it until later but please - don't abdicate your responsibilities, in the long run, you'll get a lot more done with fewer headaches.

What do you think? Chime in below...