Those three words stuck with me from a recent
morning networking meeting. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve made it a
goal, a career resolution of sorts, to get plugged in to a local group of
entrepreneurs, business owners and employees who regularly come together to
lift one another up, offer great advice and problem solve from different
I found just such a group on Tuesday mornings.
Comprised of solo-preneurs, work-from-home business owners, employees at big
companies, multi-level marketers and nonprofit fundraising whiz kids, I learn
something new every week. Many of the tips are so great I have to write them down
(and find ways to share them with you, our wonderful BBB readers and accredited
Back to those three words.
Eliminate. Delegate. Automate.
A woman named April was talking about clearing the
clutter from her literal and virtual desk in order to accomplish more during
the day. A photographer and free-thinking creative by trade, April said she
needed to create systems that would allow her to do more of what she loves and
less of the rest.
One day, she sat down and wrote down all the tasks
within her two businesses that she absolutely hated. Loathed. Could seriously
kiss goodbye and never look back. Once she compiled a hefty list, she sorted
them into the three categories: automate, delegate, eliminate.
Cleaning the photography studio was a chore and a
half, delegate it to a cleaning company once a month.
Follow-up emails never got sent in a timely
fashion, automate using a program created to do just that.
Prospecting for new clients at dead-end meetings,
With each item she sorted, April gained clarity about
where her time was being drained. She learned that by paying to automate or
delegate certain duties, she was able to focus more on the growth of her
She revisits the list she made often. April checks
it twice to make sure those time and soul sucking tasks stay in their proper
categories. The result, she says, has been beyond gratifying.
With more time to focus on what she loves, April
was able to start a coaching business that lets her help other moms unearth and
reignite old passions. In turn, April says she’s found her passion.
The crux of that three-word manta is to develop
the parts of our careers we love most by clearing away what we love least. Entrepreneur,
author and podcaster Tim Ferriss clarifies the process a bit further.
something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated
or streamlined,” Ferriss says. “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?”
The idea is not to
heap garbage on someone else’s plate and pay them for the privilege. It’s about
making each work-related task serve a purpose or be scrapped completely. And if
the task stays, it must be matched with the best curator for its
Put another way:
write a to-do list for the workday. Pick the two or three most important tasks
that yield 80 % of the results you need to be successful. With the other items
on the list, determine which are extraneous. For example, you write a blog each
week, so on your to do list is “Read 10 related blog articles on XYZ.” Good
blogging is authentic and nuanced. Reading 10 articles about a subject you
already know is a time waster. Write the blog. Post it. Move down the list.
Absolutely hate writing blog posts? There’s a service for that. Delegate, then
automate for posting.
Three words with
profound work implications. Try your own de-clutter today. You might just find
yourself happily surprised with your newly fulfilling workday.