You can make the greatest contribution to your organization by focusing on your own highest-value work. If you find yourself taking on an increasing number of projects and/or people, deflect tasks that someone else can do — even if you could help — before they ever hit your to-do list. Deferring is different from delegating. Delegating is handing off your responsibilities; deferring incorporates delegating, but also involves passing activities on to another appropriate party before they ever hit your to-do list.
For example, if someone asks you an IT question, direct them to the Help Desk. If you’re invited to attend a meeting where you may offer some insight but other attendees could probably offer something similar, consider not going. Deferring shows respect for others’ competency and allows you the bandwidth to get done what only you can do, which is what your team really needs.
Adapted from “How Office Control Freaks Can Learn to Let Go” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders.