I have a problem with delegation. When I’m the leader of a group, I tend to think that getting something done myself is a lot easier than taking the time to hand it off to someone else and explain how to do it. Not only do I save time in explaining the task, but I also don’t have to follow up to make sure the job was done right.
This is wrong.
Last month my college’s nerd club (of which I am the president) put on an anime/gaming/comics/videogame/scifi convention called NonCon for fellow local nerds. While the convention went very well and attendance numbers were comparable to last year’s, I was a wreck during most of the planning. My to-do lists were too long to finish in addition to my normal homework, my blog and my senior research project fell behind, and I had a lot of anxiety about getting everything done it time. While it’s a huge relief that the convention is over, I’m still an org president and I still need a lot of improvement when it comes to delegation.
I ought to have handed off more of the work, but three things stopped me:
- Small tasks (like sending emails) would have taken more time to explain to someone else than to do myself.
- I waited too long to hand off bigger tasks, and I felt too guilty to give them to someone else with a small amount of time to finish.
- When I did give other people jobs, I worried that they wouldn’t be done correctly.
The result was that I tried to do a lot more by myself than I should have. I always thought I should polish off my little tasks before I handled my big ones, but there were too many little tasks that never got done. The result was that big tasks loomed over my head for months, increasing my anxiety. I should have recognized from the beginning that my friends, the other convention volunteers, were perfectly competent people and that I should not have worried about giving them the jobs they had already signed up for.
Lesson learned. I must delegate more. I never want to be that stressed again.
On the bright side, I learned a lot about event planning. Since NonCon is really more like seven or eight normal campus events rolled into one, I feel like just planning one event would be a breeze at this point. I also learned a lot about working with a talent agency, and I have an accomplishment worthy of putting on my resume. Now that the convention is over, it was worth it.
I still never want to be that stressed again.