I was talking with another Book Yourself Solid coach the other day, Lou Bortone. He made the comment that he actually puts on his To-Do list a column for NOT To-do. This got me thinking about delegation, letting go, and knowing when to quit doing a part of your business. I think about this a lot, because it is often a place that my coaching clients get stuck. Seeing the goodness of NOT doing, when you have been used to doing it all, is often hard to get. But, if an entrepreneur doesn’t get this vital piece of business savvy she will not grow her business.
One great way to get a bird’s eye view of what you can let go of is to list out all your business systems. (For more about how to get a bird’s eye view of your biz, see my recent video on the topic. This can be enlightening for many reasons, but let’s stick to the topic of what you should not be doing. If you don’t have a ready list of your business systems, you can get a start by reading this recent blog post. Print it out, and go through each with an eagle eye. Be honest! Sort out what your tasks should be, focusing on those that will make you money in the future. Any daily tasks you more than likely should be handing off. Why? Because administrative details don’t make you money – they maintain the business and they are important, but they are not building toward future income.
What I find is that entrepreneurs and solo professionals tend to hang on to administrative tasks because, frankly, they are comfortable doing these things. It’s easier to hide behind these little details than it is to step out and create the new business that will cause you to bring in future income. The truth is, your two highest priorities must always be to market your business and create new income streams. Maintenance of current income streams comes from your managing the systems that keep things going – managing, not doing these thing. Worked ON your business rather than IN your business is what will keep you ahead of the game.
My recommendation is to make use of Lou’s tip until delegating and managing are second nature to you. Before you do any task or take on a new task, ask yourself “should I really be spending my precious time doing this?” Make your To-Do list, and out to the side make your “Not-To-Do” list – and promise yourself to stay away from those things you should not be doing today.
(c) Sue Painter