leadership

A simple exercise to get your time back and get better results

Finn Kelly /

Learn how to work out the tasks that you should be doing and then how to delegate the rest. 

As an entrepreneur or leader you are always juggling a lot of responsibilities and tasks. This can result in you constantly feeling that you don’t have enough time to focus on the important stuff.

If you read Scaling Up by Verne Harnish then you will learn the four things the leader needs to focused on are:

  • Strategy
  • Execution
  • People
  • Cash

I encourage you to look back at everything you did during your last day or week and consider the percentage of time you spent on activities that did not fit into one of these four areas. If you are like most people, you will be shocked by how little time you spend on the important activities that will actually help your business grow. This means you need to work out how and what to delegate.

This simple exercise will give you more time and make everyone in your team more productive and happy.

First, make three columns down a page.

Column 1: Write the things that only you can do

Column 2: Write the things you hate doing

Column 3: Write the things that you shouldn’t be doing

Now go through all your daily and weekly tasks and put them in the appropriate column.

 

The first list: The things only you can do

This helps you identify where you should be spending most of your time. It focuses on your strengths and also highlights the tasks that are critical for you to do in order for your business to succeed. Now you may not love doing all of these tasks but if you are aware that these tasks are critical for the company’s success, you will feel more attached to them and most likely start enjoying them.

 

The second list: The things you hate doing

This is a no brainer. Life is short so why do tasks that you hate doing? You are the entrepreneur and leader so you only have yourself to blame if you are unhappy. The great thing about humans is we are all different. For every task that you hate doing or are not very good at, there is someone else out there who is really good at it and loves doing it. Delegate these tasks quickly and you will find yourself so much happier.

 

The third list: The things you shouldn’t be doing

This list is often the most revealing and confronting as it forces you to have an honest discussion with yourself. Is that activity really the best use of your time? Humans have a tendency to search for comfort and regularity and this means that we get satisfaction from doing tasks that are easy for us.

This can get us in a trap of spending a lot of our day doing tasks that are below our capability or are not one of the key activities we need to be doing in the above four areas that a leader should focus on.

This list is where you are going to get your precious time back. You need to delegate everything in this list to either someone in your team or even better outsource it to a virtual team member or a company that specialises in this.

For example we outsource our social media marketing in WE LOVE NUMBERS to an awesome company called Yours Socially, led by Gina Ledynak and Franziska Iseli-hall. We also hire a number of team members through Grow My Team to do most of these tasks for us.

It is very important to not stop with yourself. Remember you are the leader and it is important that you share everything that you learn so your team members can each improve as well. This exercise is one of the greatest leadership activities that you can do with you team.

Imagine the result you would get if you took all the tasks that people hate doing away from them? I am pretty sure you would have a very grateful, happy and most importantly, productive team.

Imagine if you delegated or outsourced all tasks that your team members are currently doing to someone who can do it at a cheaper cost? Suddenly you will see your outputs and profits increase.

Imagine if everyone was doing tasks that only they could do? This would mean you would have a leaner team who are all conducting high value activities and each contributing massively to your company’s success.

Who would think such a simple exercise could have such positive ramifications for your business?

So stop what you are doing now and write down these three lists.  Then get everyone in your team to do the same. If you do this every quarter you will find your company goes from strength to strength and you can thank me later.

Finn Kelly is a serial entrepreneur, investor and keynote speaker. He is currently co-founder and CEO of WE LOVE NUMBERS and co-founder of Wealth Enhancers.

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Finn Kelly

Serial entrepreneur and recognised thought leader on Gen Y and leadership, Finn is a dynamic leader and visionary who knows how to get things done. Completely connected with his purpose and values, he lives life everyday to make an impact. He is a serial award winner, including SmartCompany's Hot 30 Under 30 twice. He is currently Co-founder and CEO of smart bookkeeping plus advice company WE LOVE NUMBERS. He is also the Co-founder of Gen Y financial advice and coaching company WE and an angel investor in a number of start-ups.

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