We are living in an overly busy world where every new day is busier than the previous one. Not only do we work more than ever, but we are under more stress, and always exhausted. Even with all this effort, we hardly get everything done satisfactorily.
What is the Reason for this?
Today, many people are overwhelmed with tasks and information and want to do everything instead of the crucial things. One way of getting things done is to focus on what is critical, eliminate what’s not necessary, delegate, and automate recurring tasks.
While many people struggle with delegating tasks, doing so helps reduce stress levels, maintains sanity, and promotes happiness. What’s more, delegating some of your repetitive tasks boosts relaxation and enhances your productivity. Read on to learn more about the eliminate, automate, and delegate approach.
Focusing on what is essential helps you do away with some of the tasks on your to-do list. Here are some of the tips you can leverage to reduce your workload.
- Eliminate some of the tasks you do on a regular basis from your to-do list
- Automate tasks that require less human attention. Before automating, it is crucial to consider the words of Tim Ferriss when he said;
“Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient?” ~ Tim Ferris
- Delegate low-value tasks to people who would benefit more from doing them
At the end of this process, you should only have essential tasks that require your personal attention. Let us discuss steps to reducing activities from your to-do list.
Have a Master List
With a paper and pen in hand, write down everything you should get done every week in no particular order. You do not have to include the amount of time it will take to complete the tasks at this point.
Separate weekly activities from the activities you engage in during the weekend and include them in your 4-hour workweek list. Include all the activities that you undertake with your family, in your social or personal life, and at work.
Once you deplete your weekly to-do list, proceed with the tasks you engage in the next week, monthly, quarter yearly, and annually. Think about every task, whether it is essential or not, and integrate them into your master list.
Review Your Master List and Identify what you can Eliminate
Here are some questions to help you determine tasks on your list that you should eliminate.
- What are the less valuable tasks on the list that you don’t have to do?
- What tasks do you complete on behalf of others out of guilt or accountability?
- What tasks are included in the list only because you believe they should be there even though they do not serve any purpose?
- What activities do you still do because you can’t get yourself to say no?
- What activities do you engage in for fear of disappointing some individuals?
- What do you engage in with no motive? A good example, in this case, would be spending hours on end on social media.
- Which tasks do you engage in just because you have been doing so for years even though they offer no value?
Think critically about the tasks you engage in that are neither necessary nor valuable. Determine things that you no longer have to do and include them in the items you should eliminate.
The tasks you leave on your list should be absolutely critical. You want to spend as little time as possible to complete your work. Remember, spending more time doing less important things means that you spend less time on crucial tasks.
Determine Tasks from Your List that Can be Automated
After eliminating everything that does not require your personal attention, determining tasks you can automate. Due to technological advancements, many small businesses today are leveraging virtual assistants to assist with repetitive tasks. Implementing advanced systems in your workplace can help you bring order to your organization.
Leverage services, programs, and applications that support reminders, automatic payments, and subscription. Focus on tasks you engage in on a regular basis that do not require knowledge or specialized skills to execute. Here is how you can leverage technology to automate your tasks.
Today, many people are opting to shop online, and what better way to do that but on Amazon? All you need to place your order through the Amazon eCommerce app and get your deliveries done on time is to pay an annual subscription fee.
If you shop regularly, you can even subscribe to the products you require on a regular basis. Not only will you get a small but significant discount, but you will get your supplies on time without having to order every time. Automating delivery of household products reduces the amount of time you would spend in traffic or queuing at the mall.
· Mobile Banking
Mobile banking is a crucial part of today’s fast-evolving world. Whether you bank with a large or small bank, nearly all banks have a mobile banking feature. You can leverage mobile banking to facilitate money deposits and withdrawals, payment of bills, and money transfers. You can even establish a bill payment system to settle your monthly bills on time. Doing so eliminates the time-consuming idea of writing checks or paying your online bills individually.
· Website Traffic Monitoring
Google Analytics makes it easier for you to schedule and receive weekly reports about your website statistics. In this case, you do not have to spend lots of time figuring out who is visiting your website.
· Computer Back-ups
You can now automate your computer backups to keep your data up-to-date, and safe. What’s more, you will not need to struggle with slow system operations or distractions while working.
· Scanning of Documents
Did you know that you can leverage apps to accelerate the scanning of documents? Some of these apps allow you to scan your documents instantly from your mobile gadget. They also sync, manage, update, and share documents across the world. You can even fax documents from your device to more than 30 countries.
Be creative while evaluating your list and focus on automating as many activities as possible. Automation is an ideal time management approach that you can adopt to free up yourself from low-value tasks. Use your free time to work on more important things like striking new deals through phone calls. You can even listen to your favorite podcasts.
Evaluate Tasks that you Can Delegate
At this point, only a few tasks will be remaining on your master list. Go through the list and identify activities that you are comfortable delegating to others. Many people struggle with delegating, especially the perfectionists who enjoy being in control. However, it is necessary for your sanity. Take time to identify the right people for specific tasks, and you will have an easier time delegating. Read on for some tips on how to delegate personal and work activities.
· Identify a Reliable Person who can Help
Do not just delegate your duties to anybody. Spend some time to find and analyze your potential candidate. Ensure they have the proper skills and attitude to deliver the results you want. Remember, your potential candidate does not have to know everything. However, while they can learn on the go, they should be able to follow directions to the letter and learn fast.
Make sure the person you choose will be available whenever the need arises. You do not want to invest in someone who cannot meet your expectations. You can even think about hiring remote workers from various platforms such as LinkedIn. Apart from getting a skilled and competent workforce hiring freelancers remotely is a cost-effective concept.
· Demonstrate How you Operate
Today, you can conduct your demonstrations with ease through multiple channels. Demonstrate your operations and give clear instructions. Before delegating your tasks, you want to evaluate the system you use to execute various tasks. Provide a free guide, video tutorials, written instructions, or even a screen capture.
Your workers can use these as reference materials while learning to help them understand what to expect. Allow your team to ask questions and be ready to answer and provide directions accordingly. Once they are conversant with your operations, you will spend less time fixing errors. Always ensure that your team understands the cookies policy of any system before using it.
· Pay Less Attention to the Process and Focus on the End-result
It is worth mentioning that no one will ever execute your tasks as you do. Everybody has a different formula for doing things, but in this case, what matters should be the completed task. If your team can deliver the completed work according to your needs, then consider maintaining them.
Remember, learning takes time, and your workforce may not submit work as fast as you want, especially in the beginning. Give them sufficient time to work and get everything right.
Analyze the Remaining Tasks on Your Master List
Now that you have eliminated, automated, and delegated, your master list should only have essential tasks that require your attention.
Bottom Line: Adopt an Effective Time Management Tool
One of the best tools you can use to become an effective entrepreneur is a time management tool. Many project managers and supervisors today have adopted time tracking software to help them regulate a wide range of tasks.
Such tools help the team track and manage the time they spent on each task. With a time management tool, you can maintain a history of each minute, allowing you to manage your time effectively.