The Magic of the Handoff

The handoff.

That moment when you pass a task off to someone else and—boom—it’s done.

How often are you incorporating the handoff into your day? What about your week?

Before you answer those questions, let’s get clear on one thing—there’s more to the handoff than simply assigning a task to someone.

You need to have complete faith in the individual you’re passing responsibility to. Without that trust, the handoff is incomplete. If you can’t consider it “done” the moment you pass a task to someone or something, it’s not a handoff, it’s just a hand.

Sure, when someone lends a hand it makes your life easier, but it’s not making your life as easy as it could be. The task you’re passing off—whatever it may be—still requires your input in some capacity, at the front end, the back end, or the middle…And honestly, who wants that?

Why not find a way to make that task (especially if it’s a recurring task, like a weekly blog post or email newsletter) completely hand’s free?

Here’s an example…

A couple of weeks ago, Anna and I moved the kids back to the city from the Hamptons. One of our four children—Chloe—decided moving day would be a great time to come down with a 102 degree fever.

Awesome.

Somewhere amidst this swirling storm of familial chaos (packing and unpacking the car, driving for three and a half hours, making a doctor’s appointment, getting the kids fed, etc. etc.) I needed to mail three letters, return two packages to Amazon, return one package to Zappos, and send another package to a friend in LA for his birthday.

I didn’t have the time or the bandwidth to do it myself, but the packages and letters still needed to be sent.

I didn’t need somebody to help me with the labeling, or give Anna a hand while I ran to the post office, I needed someone to just get the whole mailing project done for me from start to finish.

I wanted to contribute the absolute minimum to the process.

Actually, I wanted to contribute the less than the minimum, I wanted to contribute zero.

I needed a complete handoff, not a helping hand.

And that’s why I used Shyp.

Shyp came to my house, picked up everything I needed to send, took those things back to their warehouse for packing, and then shipped them to their respective destinations.

Cherry on top?—Shyp also found the lowest postage prices available for my packages across FedEx, UPS, and USPS.

THAT is the definition of a true handoff.

To quote infomercial legend Ron Popeil, “set it and forget it!”—if you can’t “set it and forget it” with your task, it’s not a handoff.

If you’re new to the idea of handing-off and it makes you uneasy, start with small, uncomplicated tasks:

  • Paying a parking ticket
  • Ordering groceries
  • Cancelling a gym membership

Tasks where the risks of and consequences from a screw-up are next to nil.

As you get more comfortable, broaden the handoff to incorporate more complex tasks:

  • Getting a car registered
  • Mailing a package
  • Ordering a birthday gift

Eventually, you’ll be come a handoff master, with no reservation about passing off truly complicated assignments:

  • Writing and publishing a blog
  • Editing and producing a podcast
  • Handling payroll for a new business

And when you become a master of the handoff, you’ll be amazed at how much freer your day-to-day life will become. You’ll have more time for the activities you love to do, more headspace to dedicate toward important tasks, and more emotional bandwidth for the people you love the most.

-Ari