In today’s fast-paced, busy-is-productive society, we’re bombarded with texts, emails, deadlines, blog comments, meeting requests, employee conflicts, budget reviews, social media pings, and (fill in the blank). Is your blood pressure rising yet?
You likely spend the majority of your day reacting to what’s seemingly urgent, which leaves you little, if any time or energy to work on what’s actually important. How much longer can you take it? Odds are, not much longer if you want to accomplish your goals without burning out.
How do you combat the tidal wave of notifications so you can focus your time and energy on what matters? You need to regularly ask yourself this crucial, but oft-forgotten question:
“Should I be spending time and energy on this particular project or task?”
But simply asking yourself this question won’t cut it. You have to be willing to say “no.”
In his book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown says it well:
“Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”
So what do you think? Are you ready to stop doing what drains you and start doing what you want — and love — to do? I’m willing to bet you are.
5 Steps to More Time, Energy, and Success
I put together the following 5-step process to help you eliminate what drains you, so you gain more time, energy, and success. Let me know what you think in the comments, and be sure to sign up for my email list here to download a FREE self-assessment based on these five steps.
STEP 1: EXAMINE
What Am I Doing With My Time?
The first step towards more time, energy, and success is to examine how you spend your time. What activities/tasks/projects do you find generally fill up your days? Be honest.
It’s insane how many hours you spend browsing social media. Or is that just me?
STEP 2: EVALUATE
What Drains Me?
Now that you have a better picture of what activities fill up your days, it’s time to evaluate them. First, which activities, tasks, or projects drain the life out of you? Which tasks do you avoid as long as possible?
What Energizes Me?
Next, which activities or projects get you out of bed in the morning? Which tasks energize you over and over again?
STEP 3: ENVISION
What Should I Do With My Time and Energy?
The next step is to take some time to think — and dream — about what success is to you. If you don’t know your goals — in work or life — you can’t make informed decisions about what to prioritize.
Here are some questions to consider to help you define success and identify your goals, so you can envision your future:
What Is Your Definition of Success?
What are your top 3 goals in work — and life — for the next 12 months?
If you could do anything in the world, and money was not an issue, what would you do?
STEP 4: ELIMINATE
What Should I Stop Doing?
Think back to the list of activities that drain you (from Step 2). Now ask yourself the following questions.
Is this project or task in my job description?
If not, is it absolutely necessary for me to do my job?
If so, can someone else on my team handle it?
What long term plan or goal does this project or task fall under?
What is the root behind me wanting to do this task or project?
Is it because it’s crucial to my mission and vision?
Do I simply want to look busy to those around me?
Is it because I didn’t have the courage to say no?
The above questions should help you discern whether or not you can eliminate a particular activity, task, or project. If you can’t eliminate it altogether, the next step will help you delegate it.
STEP 5: EMPOWER
Who Should I Delegate To?
This step is all about empowering your assistant — or your team — to take the tasks you cannot eliminate off your plate.
Write down each task or project you need to delegate, and determine which person you’re going to delegate it to. Then, set a deadline for when you’re going to do it. In the next 24 hours, work to get a meeting scheduled with each person. The longer you wait, the more likely you won’t take action.
Bonus: Download my FREE worksheet here for my tips on delegating to your assistant or team member.
If this process was helpful, I’d love to hear in the comment section!
Also, don’t forget to download my FREE self-assessment worksheet to spend more time with this 5-step process.
If you’d like to dig deeper in a one-on-one setting, get training on how to get more out of your assistant, or go through a more in-depth audit of your time, check out my Executive Coaching services at GoBurrows.com/Coaching.