Outsourcing the Low-Hanging Fruit

You have them — we all do. There are probably several responsibilities you “have to do” that make you feel like you’re wasting your time. But do you really have to do them?

Low-Hanging Fruit

Image courtesy of iancarroll on Flickr

In late 2013, I was underwater. Our organization’s recent successes were causing huge increases in my biggest time-vacuums: IT maintenance, website, e-newsletter and social media. Of course, all four of these things are critically important to our success, and they have to be done. But without question, these four functions could — and should — be done by someone other than the executive director.

I could create more value for the organization if freed from these time-vacuums. However, as it stood, I was the only person on our administrative team that had the training/experience to do them. Not to mention that our entire team was already over-extended. So I was stuck between a rock and a hard-place.

Or so I thought.

Over the holiday break, I thoughtfully considered what needed to change. I estimated that these four time-vacuums accounted for approximately 20 hours per month of my time. So in just a few hours, I was able to prep each of these four responsibilities to hand-off to an outside resource: a freelancer, a volunteer, etc. Did this cost my organization more money? Yes — in terms of our bank account. But no, in terms of the total value.

Your time has value. Figure out what you make per hour. Are there responsibilities on your plate that your organization could pay less for through use of a part-time position, freelancer, independent contractor, or volunteer? If freed from these responsibilities, could you create more value — by raising more money, doing a better job as a manager, doing more as the face of your organization — and help to prevent your own burnout? If the answer is yes, then you owe it to yourself and your organization to off-load these responsibilities.

Question: What are the responsibilities you are routinely hanging onto that you should consider off-loading?

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One thought on “Outsourcing the Low-Hanging Fruit

  1. Great reminder about the value of delegation, and of growing out of holding onto those things we feel like we’re indispensable on but are not!