Being neck deep in fruitless tasks is demoralising at best, and over time can leave you feeling depressed and disillusioned with this whole “being your own boss” thing.
When you spend lots of time working on tasks that you don’t enjoy or that you’re not particularly good at, it distracts you from the important work. You won’t have as much time for the work that will give you the financial and personal rewards and results, which were the reason you got into business in the first place. Ultimately, they steal time from that difference you wanted to make when you started your business.
You probably know full well that you need to ditch, decrease, or delegate at least some of what you already do, but it can be hard to know where to start. I mean, who can afford to take the time work all this out right!?
Sister… you can’t afford not to!
But how do you decide what tasks stay or go?
Before getting specific, it’s helpful to have some categories you can apply, as this makes it easier to identify the tasks themselves. Here are four that I recommend to help…
Before you read on, why not download your free cheatsheet so you can start listing out the specific tasks that you could to ditch, diminish or delegate as you read. I can guarantee things will spring to mind as you read. Click the button below.
Spending time on tasks that don’t come naturally to you is one of the biggest mistakes I see made – and I’ve been guilty of it myself. If, unlike me, you’re great with the nitty gritty details and numbers, and you love a spreadsheet, then trying to do lots of creative or people stuff can be painful. On the other hand, if you’re very creative and love interacting with people, then having your head down over spreadsheets, facts and figures might drive you crazy. In a business, a bit of both is generally required, but you might not need to be the one who does it everything.
Chances are that many of these are also tasks that don’t come naturally. However, years of practice can mean that you end up being good at doing certain jobs which you really don’t enjoy. This can make your days go very slowly, or simply leave you feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned. Look at what you do during your day and ask yourself whether you are spending most of your time doing things you love, or things you honestly don't like much (if at all.)
You might have got so used to doing things that don’t come naturally or that you don’t like, that you can’t quite remember what work actually brings you pleasure. This can make them harder to identify. I know, because that’s what happens to me. You see, I’m pretty easy going, pick up new skills quite easily, and tend to just get on with things, so I can spend all day working on something but not really registering I really shouldn't be doing it. But I've worked out that if I feel drained and miserable at the end of the day rather than light and happy, then I know it’s probably because I spent too much time on something that I like or isn't a strong point for me, using up valuable “life force” in the process. (Or I might have been pushing myself too hard at the wrong point of my cycle, but that's for another blog post.)
There are some tasks that you are good at and quite enjoy but that aren’t the really important work that will grow your business and enable you to make the difference you’re put on this earth to make. These are often jobs that could easily be done by a virtual assistant or someone else, freeing up your time to go and bring in that £10,000 client or launch that online programme (or whatever your big goals are this year).
Listing your tasks under these categories can help you work out what needs ditching, decreasing, or delegating to someone else. Anything else – the stuff that you love doing, comes naturally, and brings you great reward – is what you want to keep.
To get started why not download your free cheatsheet to work out what you could ditch, diminish or delegate. Just click the link below:
Once you’ve worked out which tasks you can delegate, decrease or ditch completely, think about what you will fill that time with. Think the three P’s – profit, pleasure and purpose. The tasks that you keep doing should bring you profit in your business, pleasure for you, and/or contribute towards you fulfilling your purpose on this planet (preferably all three, as going for profit alone quite often isn't sustainable.)
Once you’ve identified the tasks that go in the next four categories, ask yourself these questions…
What can you dump, diminish or delegate? What would you love to spend more time on for profit, pleasure and/or your purpose? Have you had any aha’s while reading this? I love to read your tips, tricks and insights, so please share in the comments box below.