Have you ever noticed that you avoid a certain business task even if it’s relatively easy? And when you finally do get around to doing it, you feel exhausted and burdened?
On the other hand, have you noticed that sometimes you can spend hours mired in an intense deep-dive session with one of your best clients and leave the session feeling completely energized and ready to take on the world?
This amazing aspect of business – the fact that some things drain us while others energize us – has always fascinated me.
I believe we each have our own, unique energetic gas tank.
When your tank is full, you’re fueled by things you love to do. When your tank is low, you’re likely spending too much time doing things that aren’t your forte or just aren’t interesting to you – and it takes a lot of energy out of you tank to complete them.
The thing that is perhaps most interesting about this phenomenon is that everyone’s energetic gas tank is different. This is why I created the The Four Quadrants of Keep vs. Delegate Exercise as a way to help my clients better understand what fills their tank and what drains them, and which tasks they should do themselves versus which tasks they should delegate.
To get started, create a grid that has four quadrants like the one pictured:
- In Quadrant One (top left) list all the business activities that you’re good at and that you enjoy (possible examples: making sales calls, working one-on-one with clients).
- In Quadrant Two (top right) list all the activities you’re not good at but that you enjoy (possible examples: writing marketing copy, designing logos and social media graphics).
- In Quadrant Three (bottom left) list all the business activities that you’re good at but that you don’t enjoy (possible examples: billing, bookkeeping, setting up speaking engagements).
- In Quadrant Four (bottom right) list all the business activities you’re not good at and you don’t enjoy (possible examples: bookkeeping, scheduling or social media).
Once you have all your business activities listed, it’s time to choose which ones will stay on your plate.
Of course, keep all the activities from quadrant one! Those are the things that will fill up your energetic gas tank. You only want to start to delegate these when your plate is full with just these activities. (Then you want to delegate the ones that take up the most time).
As soon as you can, delegate all the things from quadrant four.
These activities are the things that cause business owners to feel totally drained and burned out.
I always recommend to my clients to make sure that 10% of their to-do list is made up of quadrant two activities. This way, you’ll still have an opportunity to stretch yourself with tasks that you find interesting and stay in that learning zone.
And let me emphasize: this exercise is meant to help you envision the “ultimate” experience of your business. If you’re just starting out, or you’re focused on bringing in more income, you may only be able to delegate a few activities, and that’s okay! Think of this as a long-term goal.
In my next post, I’ll talk about how exactly you can delegate activities. But in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you: what are the things that you love to do in your business? What do you dread? Hit reply to let me know!