I have developed a five-step programme you can use to help make this assessment.
1.Make a list of everything you do in a typical day - write it all down.
2. Next to each item, write down what that action produces per hour. Does it earn an income or serve people? How productive is that activity per hour? Give each item a value.
3. Rate each item according to its degree of meaning. Some things are meaningful and inspiring, but don’t necessarily produce a substantial income. Which items are the most productive and most meaningful - either economically or psychologically?
4. Calculate the total replacement cost of any of these items if you were to delegate them to someone else. Would it be more economical if you were to outsource these activities? As an example, you could hire a specialist, a driver, an au pair, a personal shopper.
5. Calculate the total time spent on these tasks in a day. What’s the greatest return on investment for your time, either economically or psychologically.
You now have a way to assess what your actual priorities are. So, whether you are at home or at work, a single person or in a partnership, you can apply this to your life.
What is most productive? What is most meaningful?
You may have assumed you were doing what you needed to be doing.
Now you have completed this assessment exercise and analysed the monetary value and levels of meaningfulness, you will probably realise there are items that can be delegated that will enable you to focus on high income-producing activities that are most meaningful.
Here’s an example from my own life to illustrate how this worked for me. I used to be a novice at the delegation process and ended up doing almost everything myself when I ran my clinical chiropractic practice some years ago.
I then read The Time Trap by Alec Mackenzie and did the assessment.
I wrote down everything I was doing in my practice, from treatments to administrative tasks.
This included my morning, lunch time and evening talks that I was also doing outside the practice.
I was shocked by the results of the assessment.
I studied for 10 years to be a doctor and I realised being solely in practice wasn’t the best use of my time.
The talks I was presenting were relatively easy to set up and each talk introduced between five and eight new patients to my practice.
Each new patient represented a certain amount of income to the practice.
Actually, working with general clinical patients represented a lower amount of revenue.
So, I ended up doing more talks, flooding the business with new patients, prioritising my more influential and speciality patients and hiring five doctors to treat the general patients.
This generated way more income.
Without doing this assessment, I may have carried on doing what I was doing following the assumption that it was correct.
Eighteen months after opening my practice, I had five doctors and 12 staff managing the daily duties while I was generating new business. It changed my career trajectory.
Once you have completed this exercise, you will have a new list of highest priority action steps you can then break down into small accelerating increments.
It is wise to put metrics in place to help you keep track. Daily, high-priority action steps which increase in momentum can put you on track to achieving your goals.
Increased productivity increases self-worth.
Be sure to communicate your new objectives and intentions to all involved parties, be this at home or in business.
Make sure you communicate these objectives according to their personal values and be clear on what’s in it for them and how they can do what they’re excellent at so they stay engaged in the process and you don’t get distracted by having to micromanage.
It is a wise exercise to document your accomplishments and achievements daily, as well as what you are grateful for.
This process helps keep you connected to your highest priority actions. Reassess and repeat this cycle on a quarterly basis to help you stay on track.