More often than not, our productivity suffers because of the sheer volume of tasks on our personal to-do lists. Task management can be such a chore, after all. But what if there was a way to free up some of your workload and, in turn, your brain space, for other tasks that need your attention? Ken Courtright gets down to brass tacks about how to free up space on your task list by as much as 50%. At the end of the day, it comes down to delegation and learning to give your trust.
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50% Went To Three People
This is the show where we live life. As we see things that result in business growth, we write them down and make sure we tell the world. We are a company of roughly 200 employees, $50 million in revenue, multiple sources of revenue, about 1,100 sources of revenue. 2019 has been filled with many ups and downs. It is by far the most painful but most joyous year we have ever had. One of the parts that were excruciatingly painful was when I was spoken to by a brand new mentor of mine, David Kelley, our new CEO. David was the COO of TD Ameritrade for many years. He said something like, “Ken, you are very controlling. I’ve heard from others. I’ve interviewed all of the management. You have your hands in many things you are destined to burn up.”
He didn’t say burn out, he meant implode. I remember exactly how he said it, but the long and short, he said, “You have to do something. It’s easy to do, but it’s painful. You have to give up 50% of your daily activities to three people you trust.” First, I couldn’t think of 50% of what I do every day. Second, I couldn’t think of the three people to give them to. The bottom line is that was a mandate. It wasn’t a request. It wasn’t a suggestion. It was not an option. Because I didn’t believe or buy into this in the beginning, I fairly randomly chose the daily tasks I did, which included reading my emails, answering my own phone, doing strategy plans, meeting with clients and site partners and writing future books.
I looked at even podcasting. I looked at everything I do after an audit. I said, “Truth be told, I’m not that special, 90% of what I do could be done by somebody else.” What I learned and it was one of the biggest lessons I will ever learn is I had a faith problem. I did an episode on this topic many years ago. It wasn’t a religious faith problem. I had a faith problem of other people. I didn’t think they could do it as well as I. Let’s say there is very good evidence that the three people I gave my stuff to did not do it as well as I. There’s no question. “They’re not me. I’m the one that built those programs. I built those models. I built those systems,” but they’re 80% to 95% of doing it as well as me. It has freed up 50% of my life to the point that it opened up the ability for me to go to Pepperdine to get an executive MBA with my wife.When you have your hands in so many things, you're destined to burn up. Click To Tweet
That has been monumental in my learning. The point is 100% of our audience has at least 50% of their activities, believe it or not, even if you’re a one-person shop that you could give to three other people; interns, virtual assistants, it doesn’t matter. This goes to the one-thing concept. It goes to Stephen Covey’s seven habits. It goes to Zig Ziglar’s see you at the top premise, how to goal set for it, how to see the end in mind. It goes to all the fundamentals that say, Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach, “You have to do what your spiritual gift is. You have to do what you were called to planet earth to do and stop doing the stuff other people can do,” and I was stuck.
I thought, “This is the stuff I should be doing and I could not have been more wrong.” It’s been 4 to 5 months. I don’t know what percentage of this task that I’ve exceeded or concluded or what my grade is from Dave. Here’s what I already know. I’ve given myself a whole new group of tasks to fill in the gap, and I’ve expanded on the ones that I thought are the only things I can do because only I can do them. I’m sitting here with another to-do list. Guess what I get to do come Christmas time? I’m going to take 50% of my audited to-dos and I’m going to hand them to three other people. I’m going to keep fine-tuning every 4 to 6 months and only do what only I can do. I’m strongly suggesting that everybody reading this does only what only they can do. You delegate half of the rest to three other people. I hope this helps. Take care.
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