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Imagine this scenario: you’ve just walked in to your restaurant and the barrage has started, just like it always does.
Your kitchen needs a truckload of supplies picked up at the local distributor before the lunch rush begins. There’s a stack of business bills that need to be paid, the inventory has been waiting for your attention for a week now, and you’ve got to write up a marketing article for your local newspaper by 12:30.
These are all chores you can’t stand doing. And yet as the owner, you’ve got to do them. These annoying tasks are as inevitable as death and taxes, right?
Well, not really. You may not be in the restaurant business, but you know what we’re talking about here. Most leaders have a stack of tasks on their plate they can’t stand doing, and these tasks seem to take up an inordinate amount of their time.
But think about this for a moment: what if you had the opportunity to only work on things you wanted to during the day? Can you imagine what life would be like if you only focused on tasks and projects that were truly exciting and fulfilling? Can you imagine never having to deal with those chores you hate?
It can be hard to fathom. But, it’s entirely possible, and not nearly as hard as you might think. It’s all in how you work the numbers.
The goal with rating your day is to figure out exactly what you can’t stand doing on a regular basis, and then create systems so you don’t have to deal with those tasks anymore.
Start by sitting down and making a list of everything you have to do on a regular basis. Make sure you include everything, from getting the mail to brainstorming your next marketing campaign.
And, be specific here. Don’t just put “marketing”, “accounting”, or “customer service”. Are you writing your company newsletter? Taking deposits to the bank? Handling customer complaints?
It’s easy to leave stuff out here, so take your time. Picture yourself walking through the door every day. What do you always do first? Go through your day in your mind, imagining your regular tasks.
Also, don’t forget about the “fires” that might often crop up. These emergencies are a sign that a system isn’t in place to handle them. If there is something you have to deal with on a fairly regular basis, it needs to go on the list as well.
Now that you have a complete list of what you’re spending your time doing you need to go through and rate each task from 1-10.
The tasks you can’t stand doing deserve a 1, and the ones you really enjoy and find fulfilling will be awarded a 10. Everything in between, of course, gets a 2-9.
Tip: It’s important to keep in mind that just because something isn’t “role appropriate”, it doesn’t mean you have to give it a low score.
For instance, you might really love walking down to the bank to drop off the deposits. Sure, this could easily be done by someone else, but maybe this trip outside gives you a chance to relax and clear your head.
The point here is that if you like doing it, give it a high score. No matter what it is.
Once you’ve rated everything the next thing to do is group your tasks together. Anything you rated 1-6 needs to go in one column. The things you really like doing, the 7-10s, need to go in another column.
Now, take a look at the 1-6 column. Are there any tasks that you could delegate to someone else?
Remember: many business owners and leaders handle 90% of the responsibilities of their organization. But be holding onto the reigns so tightly you’re not only depriving yourself of a life, you’re also creating a bottleneck for your organization.
Really try to delegate some of these responsibilities. Your goal is to free up your time so you can spend more of it on the stuff you want to do, remember?
This is the step that takes time, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed here. But don’t give up!
What we have to do is figure out how to take the tasks you rated 1-6 completely off your plate. Yes, many of these tasks may be important. But, that doesn’t mean you have to do them.
It’s during this step you might discover you could use some help. Creating efficient systems isn’t an overnight task, which is why many leaders hire a business coach to come in and help at this stage.
A skilled business coach can be worth their weight in gold. They can help you identify the most important tasks to start with, and work with you to create a system to get that task off your plate for good.
With their help, you can transform your workday into one that’s actually fun and rewarding.
Imagine what your days would be like without any of those tasks you rated 1-6. Imagine what it would like to have a life full of nothing but 8, 9 and 10′s. Can’t imagine it? Then you might be lost in a system that’s robbing you of your joy.
Living a life where work is fun and you actually have time to spend with your family may sound too good to be true, but it’s entirely possible with efficient systems in place.