Don, a client of mine, was feeling overwhelmed last week; he felt as though he just couldn’t keep up with all that was coming at him. Industry information, client requests, and staff e-mails and notes were keeping him from spending the time he wanted out prospecting and building new business. He would get things cleaned up for awhile, but then as he spent more time out of the office, it would all start building up again. Don felt defeated.
Rather than asking Don to dedicate 30 minutes a day to clean it up until he was caught back up again, I wanted him to deal with the barrage of information and requests coming at him once and for all. This time, we were going to cast a critical eye at each item and decide to Do it, Dump it, or Delegate it.
In order for a task to warrant Don’s time, it needed to earn its place. Was he the only one who could accomplish the task? Was it worth his billable rate? Don generated about $180 per hour. Sure, a simple to-do might only take ten minutes, but that equates to approximately $30 of time. He had staff members capable of formatting documents, scheduling appointments, and he paid them less than $30 per hour. End result? Delegate it.
As a business matures, activities that were once appropriate may become out grown. These can include long-standing activities, relationships within the office or outside, and office processes. Letting go can be bittersweet, but if you and/or your business no longer benefit, it’s time to Dump it. If it’s time to let go of a relationship, take care and treat it with respect and professionalism (the opposite of what “Dump it” implies!).
Once you’ve gotten rid of tasks by Delegating or Dumping them, your list will include only those items that have earned their place and deserve your unique brilliance. Your next step? Do it. That’s it. Take one item, act on it, move forward.
At the end of the week, Don felt accomplishment and valued by focusing his talents on their best use. .Isn’t that feeling worth a try? It really is simple:
Do it, Dump it, Delegate it.
– Helen Dutton, Business Coach