Be A BrickBreaker

1995-1-simple-brickbreaker Remember this game? Most people will know it as the only game that came with their Blackberry way back when. If you don't know it, this is the idea, bounce the ball at the bricks and destroy them, one by one, until all of the bricks are gone. All you could do was move your little brick bouncing boat from right to left. Depending on the angle and the speed at which you hit the ball, it would fly off in different directions, hitting one or more bricks, and if you were really lucky, you could aim it in such a way that it would bounced along the top, knocking out many many bricks. So when did Less Doing become a site that reviews games that are over a decade old? Just keep reading...

BrickBreaker is a surprisingly good analogy for how you should manage your outsourcing. The work that needs to be done, in this case breaking bricks, is done by something else (the ball) and it is simply your job to send that tool off in a direction to do it's work. Furthermore, you're involvement is limited to directing that ball and you have no other responsibilities until that ball comes back to you requesting a new direction or when the job is done. Starting to make sense? As you become more and more advanced the ball or delegate is able to do more and more autonomously, represented by the ball making it's way to the top of the brick pile and then smashing away for a while longer. As you become more skilled at delegating and anticipating the what ifs of task creation, you're outsourcing will have greater reach with longer periods without your involvement. It becomes the ultimate game of "hot potato" as you delegate, receive a response, smack it back with clarifications, and then go onto other things.

I have talked about the 80/20 rule until I am blue in the face but ideally I want to get everyone to the point where 95% of the things they do on a regular basis can be accomplished by other people or other systems. Allowing you to focus on that 5% that is your talent, that thing that NO ONE else can do. Whether it's content curation, problem solving, or pure unadulterated ideation. Freeing yourself of the distractions of the minutiae make it so that your ideas can not only come to light, but you can actually act upon them.

The goal is to be anticipatory in your task assignments and then to provide quick "course corrections" so you can stay focused while everything else gets done.