As you’ll know, from the many, many (many) emails sent out by retailers, last week was Black Friday – the one time of the year when my cynicism gives way to be desire for a bargain.
I’ve wanted a robot vacuum cleaner for ages, and the discount day gave me the perfect excuse to splurge.
Not that I needed much of an excuse – with two teenagers and a small dog in the house, there is A LOT of dirt brought in every day.
And when you add in the fact that I’m usually barefoot at home thanks to our underfloor heating (which I really wouldn’t be without), it’s fair to say that we need our ground floor vacuumed pretty much every day.
Thing is: life’s too short to be doing this, which means that for a long time I’ve just been putting up with a floor that really fails the ‘clean enough to eat off’ test.
However, I failed to make the most of its first few voyages, since I was so fascinated that I stood still and watched it at work.
And what was interesting is that it didn’t hoover the floor how I would (up and down in straight lines and section-by-section).
But that doesn’t affect its effectiveness. Quite the opposite in fact – the floor was much cleaner than it would have been if I’d done it.
Now I know it works, I just run it every day, while I’m getting on with more important tasks – building the business and buying Christmas presents.
And there’s a salutary lesson for all of us that run businesses – the importance of letting go of tasks that are either low value, or don’t make the best of your skillset.
But not just that – it also demonstrates the importance of not micro-managing the tasks you’ve let go of.
Whether it’s someone doing your books or someone to help with your marketing, hire someone who’s competent and let them get on with it, within your parameters, without breathing down their neck.
They may not do it how you’d do it, but if they get the desired result, then that’s all that matters.
What can you let go of next year, and how much time will that win back for you?