“I need more time”, he said.
“I’m overwhelmed and not sure what to do”.
“Bullshit”, I said. “I bet you know exactly what to do.”
With a slight surprise John replied, “If I knew what to do I would have done it!”
“Really?”, I said.
John was a new client who wanted more control over his schedule so he could spend more time with his family.
I gave him a task. I asked him to list all of the activities, to-do’s and things he does during the week related to work. Nothing else. Just work-related stuff.
A week later, John sent me this email…
Thanks for making me do this exercise. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I do in a week. No wonder I don’t have any time. Here is a partial list of what’s on my plate:
Write processes…train clients…design/develop/update protocols…write progress reports… clean equipment…consultations/assessments with potential new clients…run payments…schedule clients…order supplies…put away supplies…fold towels…create marketing material for social media…run ads…visit Dr offices…call and check on clients…visit with clients when they walk in…answer the phones sometimes…organize and plan new website development…community involvement (chamber gala, events, meetings, etc)…talk to clients when there is a problem…learn new material to teach to the staff…pay bills…run payroll…keep with accounting reports…fill up schedules…spend time talking to staff to build a stronger relationship…figure out events that we can be doing to drive in more traffic or thank current customers…attend educational events, certifications, business building events.
John was shocked by how much he had on his plate. I asked him if he thought his talent and expertise was required for all of these activities?
He replied, “No”.
“Do you know what tasks you could allow someone else to do?”, I said.
He replied, “Yes, I know I shouldn’t be doing at least half of these activities. It’s taking up so much of my time and energy. I’ll start by removing just one activity.”
Unfortunately, John isn’t alone. Many owners are overwhelmed with too many things on their plates. We need to invest our time on things that we love and move the company forward.
Everything else can be delegated.
Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”
This week, create a list of all of the activities you do in a week. Choose one activity to delegate. You will increase your time and energy and become more productive.
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