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Monday Mornings with Madison



Wouldn’t it be great to get the best value from the time you spend in the office?

Using your time more productively would go a long way to helping you to achieve your business goals. If you’re like most business people, however, you spend much of your time working on lots of minor tasks. These chores end up nibbling away at your days. And this means you never get around to tackling the important tasks, the ones that could help you move ahead. Business coach Tony Robbins had it right when he said, “Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.”

There are only 24 hours in the day, of course, and all those minor tasks do need to get done. Like many people, you may feel that delegating small chores is a waste of time. “It’s more efficient to just do it myself and be done with it,” you think. But the questions you should be asking are, “Am I really the right person to do these jobs?  And how much am I losing by being so ‘efficient’?”

If you want to fully appreciate what you’re losing by not delegating your less important tasks, you need to figure out your hourly rate. How much is your time worth by the hour? Or, how much do you want it to be worth?

Start with two important numbers: 1) there are about 2,000 working hours in a year, and 2) you should spend at least 60% of every day on tasks that are worth your hourly rate. Let’s say your salary is $250,000 a year--or you want it to be that.  Your hourly rate is therefore $250,000 divided by 2,000, or $125.  This means you should spend at least 60% of your day on tasks that are worth paying someone at least $125 to perform.

Any time you find yourself doing something that could be done for less than $125 per hour, you are losing money. You may think you’re getting work done, but in fact, you’re losing money — sometimes a lot of it. For example, if you spend three hours a day doing work that a secretary could do for $15 per hour, you are losing $110 per hour for three hours. This adds up to $330 per day, $1650 per week and over 50 weeks a year, it comes to a net loss of $82,500.

Can you afford to lose this much money? Of course you can’t!

One obstacle to spending your time more profitably comes from thinking that you are the only person in the world who can accurately and efficiently perform even the most minor task. Does this sound familiar? Then tackle your need to control every little thing by following this simple system:

Make a list   Write down all the things that you do on a daily basis and price out each task on an hourly basis. See which ones are worth the time you spend on them. All others should be delegated.

Break it down  Once you know what needs to get delegated, break down each of those tasks into a detailed, step- by-step process. Your goal is to create a guide that will allow someone else to perform the job as well as you do.

Try it yourself  When you have your step-by-step instructions, try to perform the task while following your outline. If you’re satisfied with the results, you can delegate the job.

Watch the first time  Observe the first time someone performs the task to make sure your instructions are thorough and clear. Then let them do their job, while you make good use of all the time you can now spend on more profitable pursuits.

If you’ve never tried this exercise before, it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning. If you discipline yourself to follow through, however, you will see the benefits after a few weeks, and you will come to realize that we waste our time until we truly value it.

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot."  Michael Altshuler

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