Feeling overwhelmed by your never-ending to do list? Yeah, that’s us, too. In a world where “I’m busy,” or “I’m tired” has become the mantra of all working Americans, is it possible to own your life instead of it owning you? We think it is. Let us help you get on the right track to checking off all the boxes on your to do list. Hint* the best part is: you don’t have to do it all to get it done! This is called outsourcing. Unlike a different kind of outsourcing, there is no need to lose your “Made in the USA” pride.
Step 1 – To Do vs. Have to Do
What’s on your to do list that YOU have to do? Make a list of everything that you do in your business and in your life: laundry, answering emails, taking the kids to school, networking. You get the picture. Then circle the things only you have the talent and expertise to do. For example, only you can network for your business… leave the Tide to P&G. After you’ve completed that task, (you can check that one off the list!) put an “X” next to everything someone else could do for you. This will help you prioritize things you need to focus on vs. what else needs to get done, but it doesn’t necessarily require you being the one who does it.
Step 2- Dollars vs. Time
When you look at all the items with an “X” by them, what is their value of importance to you? Where would you be willing to spend your dollars, instead of your time or energy? You do this all the time, but you may not realize it. For example, you may not have time to cut your lawn, but it still needs to get done, so you pay the neighbor kid to cut it. These items may be anything from administrative tasks in your business, to cooking homemade meals. What’s the value of your time compared to each item that could be outsourced? Is it more valuable or less? If it’s less, that’s what college interns and your children are for- cheap labor that you don’t have to dial India for!
Step 3- Purpose vs. Routine
It’s easy to get stuck in the trap of routine. If you’re not careful, routines can take you on a long detour instead of getting to your final destination quickly. Is there purpose behind the things you are doing on your outsource list? Why are you doing things someone else could easily do? There is no right or wrong answer, and it’s different for every person. For instance, you may obsessively check your email (because no one does that right??). Is it because you value customer service and want your clients to experience personal and quick responses? Or, is it out of habit and you have a bad case of FOMO? If it’s the latter, then it’s most likely squashing your productivity. You can be more productive instead of distracted (AND give great customer service) if you train someone how to respond to frequent requests and give them your email password. Avoid the trap of routine. Be purposeful with the things you chose to do that someone could easily help you with, and if you can, get it off your list and onto another person’s list.
There you have it! You can start working with these tips. Of course, managing your time wisely as a business owner is easier said than done, but thank goodness we don’t have to do it all ourselves.