Is it cheating to make things easier?

Juggle Strobe by Sam UL on Flickr
Juggle Strobe by Sam UL on Flickr

Wednesdays are new student registration day at my learning center.  I’d never get anything done if I took new students whenever they walked in or called, so I have everyone come to fill out their application and take their placement test on one evening out of the week.

Yesterday I had 8 students signed up for registration, and I usually get additional people who haven’t contacted me.  That would have been pretty chaotic, even for me.  So I did the unthinkable.  I asked for help.

It was great.  My volunteer told people about the schedule and helped with the application.  Then I could focus on finding the right test for each student and monitoring their progress. We ended up only having five new students (it was about 3 degrees outside, so I wasn’t surprised) but it was still a much calmer, more controlled process than other nights with five or so intakes.

So I want to know why it took me so long to ask for help, and why it still feels a little like cheating to change the system so that I’m not needing to juggle five (or eight) people at once.

2 thoughts on “Is it cheating to make things easier?

  1. It’s not cheating, it’s smart use of your time, your volunteer’s time, and agency resources. Anything that increases efficiency is a plus.

  2. Longer, more thought-out response:

    People feel as though they have to go it alone, do it themselves, or carry the whole load for a variety of reasons (feeling valuable/indespensable/important, for example). You sound as though you’re feeling as though it is *your* asssignment for *you* to do. This is common for new managers and others who have not supervised staff or led teams much before. It might help to think of it this way: You are responsible for producing the desired output or outcome; how you do it and who you use to do it is up to you. If you delegate parts of it or bring in assistance, it is your job to make sure that the final output/outcome is what your boss wants. Thinking outcomes-based instead of task-based may make it easier to look for help in the future. 🙂

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