Should you really being doing everything that you’re doing, or have you taken on too much?
As the world gets increasingly more complex, this question is more important than ever. I’m finding that clients simply can’t muster the time, mojo or drive to do those tasks they used to take on even though they disliked doing them. In this time where major civil unrest and a pandemic basically side swipe us energetically, most of us are having a really hard time “getting shit done” even if that’s normally our M.O. In many cases, it’s giving my clients that permission to (finally!) let go of those things that they really don’t want to do. Yet some of those things are important for their business and their life to function on all cylinders. Quite the conundrum.
The reality is, so many of my clients are busier than ever. They juggle a full client load, re-engineering their in-person work to be engaging in a virtual environment, working on growing their businesses, and possibly even a family and homeschooling. In “normal” times, I often have to remind my clients that doing more of the same thing is not going to get them where they want to go. If you want to grow, you have to let go. But now, with more on your plate than ever, it’s a good time to look at the things on your to-do list ask yourself, “Just because I can do this, does it mean I should be the one to do it?”
This is where the 4 D’s come into play.
Now, I didn’t coin these, I’m just borrowing them. I have been using them for 20 years, and when doing a Google search I see a lot of people talking about them but no reference to who coined them. I wish I could give credit to the clever mind that created this!
The 4 D’s:
When there is something I want to get done,
do I DO it, DELEGATE it, DATE it, or DUMP it?
Most really successful people pride themselves on how much capacity they have to get things done. They will likely even insist that “no one else” can do it. But when hard pressed, when there’s no more space or energy to give, it’s amazing what you can actually delegate to someone else!
So if there’s any part of you that thinks you have to do it yourself, stop and reflect, “Is that really true?”
As an example, about six years ago I was able to hire an assistant whose job it was to transcribe my handwritten notes into typed notes for one of my Strategic Alliances that required me to have written notes on each client call.
My other coaching colleagues just typed them in as they coached but I knew that this would not work for me as it was very important for me not to be in front of a computer while I was coaching my clients. I tried dictating them with transcription software and that was equally as challenging and took just as much time. This was a task that took me about 10 hours a month to complete, and it was my least favorite thing in the world to do, but for a long time I thought I had to do it. I thought that no one else would be able to “get” what I had written and be able to translate it into useful information for my colleagues.
When I finally brought on the assistant, there absolutely was a calibration process. It took a few months for her to understand what I wanted her to do, be able to translate my language into layman’s terms and create notes in the system that were even better than mine. But after that, she got it, and it saved me 120 hours a year and a truckload of strife. I got three weeks of my life back for $1800 a year. It was completely worth it!
And by the way, I mostly used those three weeks to take more time off.
This week, look at the tasks on your plate and ask yourself, “What are the things that I don’t like and that I am not good at?” These really are the first tasks to look at delegating. Often, tasks like bookkeeping come up in this category. Start to explore how you might delegate these tasks to move them off your plate.
After that, look at the things you’re good at but that you don’t like. These are energy sucks. Can you delegate any of those tasks?
If you adopt these principles, you will not only save time and energy, but you’ll have a more joyous experience of your business. And remember the mantra, “just because I can, does it mean I should!”
Tara Butler Floch