It is an easy trap for an entrepreneur to fall into – believing that there are certain activities that can only be completed by the business owner. In reality, there are probably a lot fewer tasks that must be performed by you than you think. It’s time to take a hard look at your daily schedule. While it may require a bit of humility, you must admit to yourself that your employees CAN take on some of the responsibilities that you previously thought only you could do properly.
Make a pie graph of your week
People cannot determine how to free up their schedules if they do not first have an idea of what their days are really like. Does it seem like you only spent a few minutes responding to emails, only to find that two or three hours have passed? Did you ever realize how much time a seemingly menial task can take?
I advise you to create a spreadsheet template and fill it out for one week every month. Create broad categories for your various daily tasks, one for every row, and then write the days of the week, one for every column. Print out this spreadsheet and keep it on your desk. Throughout your working day, keep a mental note of how many minutes or hours you spend on every task, and then write the total time in the corresponding rows. At the end of the week, enter the data to create a pie chart so you have a visual representation of where your days go. You may be surprised with the results.
The time trap
As I mentioned before, we entrepreneurs sometimes fall victim to the notion that everything we do in the company has an important purpose, or that it requires our superior intellects to properly complete. I have found that both points are often untrue. Your role as a business builder also includes serving as a mentor and developer to your team. If you do not give them responsibilities that are challenging, but within their capabilities, how do you expect them to grow and become even greater assets to your company?
Once you have completed the inventory of the tasks you perform every day and assess how much time each one takes you, it is possible to start prioritizing the individual activities and being honest with yourself about how much involvement you really need to have. From there, you can start to determine which functions really need to be fulfilled by you, and which can be delegated to other people.
At The Covenant Group, we facilitate a unique process – the ROA – to help you identify the responsibilities, objectives, and activities of each role inside your organization in order to improve the productivity of your team, drive results, and achieve your overall goals. To learn more, email us.