How to find 10 hours of work you shouldn’t be doing

by Jun 24, 2020Strategic Planning

Whether you’re a CEO, business owner or manager, the one thing you cannot change is time. We all get the same 24-hour day, 7 day week. But far too many managers and owners are struggling with time management. Sound familiar? You’re trying to fit more and more into your working day, extending your working hours in a vain attempt to get even more completed. When the real problem is you’re often carrying out work you shouldn’t be doing!

Can you relate? If this sounds like you, you need to take a look at the problem from a different perspective. Instead of wondering how to fit more in, look at what you can take out! 

Here’s how you can find 10 hours of work you shouldn’t be doing – and what to do with those tasks, once you’ve found them – if you want to save time in your working day.

Step #1: Get clear on everything you do

If you want to find 10 hours of work you shouldn’t be doing, you need to start by brainstorming every task you do in your average week and month. Get it all down on paper, because you’ll often find there are tasks you routinely do, that no longer register on your consciousness! So think deep and really take note of it all, no matter how big or small, or whether it’s a daily or monthly task – just get it all down.

Step #2: Understand the priorities 

Grab a few highlighters and select a different colour for each of these four categories:

  • What I like to do.
  • What I don’t like to do.
  • What I need to do.
  • What I don’t need to do.

Now go through your list and highlight each of the tasks, using the above categories as your criteria.

Step #3: Focus on your strengths and skills

Now take a couple of minutes to remind yourself, what are your areas of expertise? What are your strength and competencies?  If you want to work in your zone of genius, you need to be focusing on those tasks that only you can do; those tasks that use your expertise, strengths and competencies. So go back through your list and put a circle around all of those tasks.

Now take a look at the remaining tasks – these are all tasks and general work you shouldn’t be doing. How long on average, do you think you spend on completing them? I’m willing to bet it’s at least 10 hours of work – work you shouldn’t be doing. So what do you do with those tasks, now you’ve found them?

What to do with the work you shouldn’t be doing

Outsource and delegate, of course! You’ve obviously been doing those tasks yourself, as they need to be done. But by going through and highlighting them according to the above categories, you’ve established that they shouldn’t be on your task list.

So look at either delegating them to another team member or outsourcing them to a PA or other suitable outsourcer. The work you shouldn’t be doing is going to continue eating into your available working day if you don’t. If you’ve not outsourced before or struggle to let go of tasks, have a read of our recent article: How to delegate and empower others

Alternatively, opt in to our mailing list and get yourself a copy of our Let Go & Delegate’ worksheet, to help you claim back your time and the tasks you love, so you can finally stop doing that work you shouldn’t be doing!