Things I Delegate, Things I Don’t…


We’re all busy people and time is our most valuable and scarcest resource. So we should always be looking for ways to maximize our use of it, I know I am.

In my recent post How much is your time worth? I mentioned that one of the recommendations I received after filling out the survey was that I should delegate a good amount of tasks to paid help from time to time to free up some more time

I don’t always take advice from online surveys, but this time I decided to stop for a moment and make a list of what things I delegate and what I don’t.

Before going into my lists though, I think it’s important to go over some reasons to delegate:

  • Efficiency – perhaps you can find someone to do a task faster & better than you
  • Safety reasons, better to hire a professional
  • You could be spending that time with family & friends
  • You could be much more productive by focusing your energy on more important things
  • Freedom – it frees up more time for whatever you wan

Here is a list of some of the things in my life that I delegate (on a consistent basis):

  • Deep-cleaning the house
  • Yard work
  • Washing my car
  • Doing my taxes
  • Driving on occasion (find myself using Uber/Lyft more and more)
  • Property management for my rental properties
  • Handling of my retirement accounts
  • Anything to do with lifting heavy objects like when you’re moving (saving my aging back!)

Some things I’ve actually delegated before, thanks mostly to TaskRabbit!

  • Hold my place in line for an event
  • Assemble furniture
  • Save my family a great seating area for an outdoor movie

Here are some reasons you might not want to delegate something:

  • Dealing with extremely sensitive or confidential information
  • Handling things of high value, especially if it’s fragile
  • You get enjoyment out of doing it
  • You’re much faster and better at it than anyone else and training someone wouldn’t be worth the time

Things I don’t delegate:

  • Checking my email
  • Managing our budget & pay our bills
  • Driving my daughter to and from school, I enjoy these moments
  • Walking the dogs when I’m home – I enjoy & benefit from the fresh air

Unfortunately I can’t really think of anything more that I should be delegating but am not. Have any ideas for me? However, as task come up, I’ll make sure to think, “Should I delegate this and enjoy my free time?”

Your time is valuable… you should probably be delegating more tasks as well. What do you think?

Is there anything you should be delegating that you don’t? Would love to hear about it.


  1. Hm… Interesting, I was thinking about delegation and types of tasks that I could’ve delegated. And I found out that for me there’re two major areas: work and home.
    Home tasks a the easiest for me to delegate. My kids are grown enough to take care for some small and basics things like cleaning dishes, vacuuming their room, etc. And I believe in work, I believe it’s better for kids to learn about work and responsibilities now.

    Business or work tasks are the most hardest to delegate. Every person has different quality standards and sometimes I think that other people have lower standards (bull) than I do. But I am working on it

  2. Interesting. I thought about hiring a scribe at work to write my notes for me. However, I think it would be a challenge to train them make sure everything was documented correctly.

    • You should definitely hire a scribe. I am an orthopedist and have been using scribes for about 3 years. I didn’t think I wanted someone in the room so I got a wireless microphone. The scribe sits in my old dictation area and is on our EHR. I can now see 30-40% more patients with no charting headaches. I now often beat my last patient to my car because l have no paperwork to finish. They also function as a separate nurse by room patients or helping with injection. Training is not as bad as you would think. However, many scribes are applying to PA school or medical school. The upside is you get some really smart people, but there is turnover. I have 2 previous scribes in PA school and one in med school. My total cost is less than $20k a year to have my 2 clinics a week covered. Best money I ever spent.

  3. I wish I could delegate complex vacation planning, where we have multiple flight legs and driving to many destinations in a country, staying at different accommodations nearly each night. This always takes countless hours, trying to maximize our experience while controlling costs. It’s a tricky balance between price vs inconvenience. There are packages that may be worthwhile but are usually very expensive or involve a touristy tour group. A travel agent could be really great if she/he knew us well enough and had great knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, the last one my wife used was a friend that my wife assumed would get us a great deal on a simple trip, a cruise. In the end, she cost us $200 more per person than if we had just booked it ourselves online. So we’re back to working it all out ourselves, and wondering whether the time spent doing it is worth the savings.

    • Booking vacations and travel planning is one of the most delegated tasks out there. So you’re not alone in wanting it. I’ve done the trips that were painstakingly planned out to the last minute to hit everything we wanted to do/eat. I’ve also done the tours and cruises where it’s all setup for you. Honestly, looking back it really just mattered who I was with. As time goes on, and with a growing family, I’d rather outsource it if I can, maybe pay a little extra for the convenience, and get to enjoy the time that I would’ve spent planning doing something more enjoyable. Figure out how much your time is worth!

  4. I think at this point in my life, I still do mostly everything myself. I just bought four dining chairs off Amazon and assembled them myself — though I guess you could say I do get a kick out of it 😛

    I do get a cleaner for my apartment every 1-2 months because I absolutely hate doing deep cleaning!

  5. It would be more efficient if I spent more time delegating items. The problem is I enjoy doing them as a brain break and use them as teaching activities for the kids.

    A list of things I should delegate but still do with the kiddos
    – washing the car
    – any yard work
    – building things: bookshelves, furniture, etc..
    – attempting to fix things 🙂
    – coaching sports and activities

    We would definitely have more time, the quality of the work would definitely be better, and the kids would probably get better coaching, but I think its worth it right now. In 10 years when they are all out of the house, I can outsource all those activities, so we have more time to travel.

    • I think that’s a great plan. Right now my kids are so young, most of those things just keep me from hanging out with them. As they age, you’re right, those things would be great to do with them.

  6. Great post.

    Personally, I find it difficult to delegate. I think it’s because I like to keep control.
    And also because doing things makes me feel useful. So delegating the tasks that make me feel useful, makes me feel less useful.
    So I tried your method of making a list of things I already delegate and which not.
    These are the items I plan on delegating in the next couple of weeks:
    – maintenance work on my bike
    – cleaning the house
    – accounting for my business transactions

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