A recent Harvard Business Review Study found that on average, workers spend around 41% of their time on tasks that “offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled competently by others, aka OUTSOURCED! Let’s do the math, that’s almost half of our available time each day spent on mundane and unproductive tasks that don’t move the needle forward. Can you imagine what you could accomplish with twice the amount of time in your day?
There are many ways to shave a few minutes off of your day, but if you really want to free up time in your day you need to prioritize and get on top of this said list. We take this approach with our clients. Do it. Delegate it. Or Ditch it.
Sure “To-Do” lists can help you stay organized and on-task, we all make them, but the trick is to be efficient with them. Instead of writing things down on a piece of paper that often gets buried on your desk, try entering them as note on your smart phone or directly into your calendar. Also, consider putting a deadline or a due date on them.
Get real about how you spend your time throughout the day. How many hours are being robbed by distractions, interruptions, and mundane tasks that someone else could take off your plate? It’s important to resist the temptation to focus on the cost of getting someone else to do the work and to focus instead of the cost of not i.e. the money you’re losing in the business because you’re not focusing on what will bring in the income. Or the physical and emotional cost of lost time with your family. Really examine which is costing you more and decide to find a way to delegate it or just ditch it.
Depending on where you live, consider enlisting the services of a personal assistant, virtual assistant or a concierge. This way, they’ll not just take the to-dos off your plate—they give you the freedom to create your I WANT LIST.
Despite that, distractions can still derail you. I often find myself pulled in too many directions—reacting to phone calls, email and other stuff that pops up. The triage method below—touching things only once and then moving on—keeps me from being overwhelmed.
If you’re the only one that can complete the task and the reward is justified, do it. Don’t procrastinate, allot a certain amount of time for it and as Nike says ” Just Do it!”
Someone else can and should do it and will save you time. Delegate to people who are capable of delivering these outcomes – otherwise, you will be spending your time micromanaging.
Time-consuming and do not contribute greatly to achieving your goals. Ask yourself will this make money for me right now or anytime in the future? Does it fulfill my current priorities? If the answer is no, ditch it.
Some key things to remember when delegating or outsourcing. Even though you’re hiring because you are short on time, invest at the beginning. Share your company’s motto, it’s vision, branding, and ethics. The same is true when hiring for personal support. Share your immediate goals for hiring them.
Remember: People like to please. Your potential Fairy God-Mother, Sanity Saver or real life Genie in a Bottle needs to understand the vital role that they play in helping you succeed – spend a little extra time at the start and fully understand their skill sets. I can’t stress how important this is as they likely will allow you to tick off multiple items with just one call or email.