This week I share a short video that will inspire you to find your true purpose and passion in life. Time is best spent doing what you love.
Getting caught up in the rat race is a sure way to waste time. The rat race is an unhealthy competition based on the incorrect belief that there is a limited supply of resources in the universe. The rat racer believes that success must come at the expense of the competition. I am reminded of the famous story of two store owners named Joe and John that were in a daily battle for sales and customers. Their businesses were across the street from each other, and if Joe got a sale, then John would try to get two.
One night, Joe had an encounter with a Magic Genie. The Genie informed him that he would be teaching him a lesson by granting any request he had with the condition being that John would get double of whatever he asked. If Joe asked for wealth, John would get double the wealth. If he asked for a new customer, John would get two new customers. After much thought, Joe made the request to be struck blind in ONE eye! This humorous illustration teaches us that an unhealthy competition can cause you to lose your VISION and waste valuable time. How can you have a competitive edge without competing?
The best way to gain a competitive edge without competing is to find someone who has the results that you desire and duplicate their processes. In professional football, the team that wins the Super Bowl is usually the most copied team in the league. The other teams observe their practices, playbooks, and processes because they realize that the fastest route to success is to duplicate a proven system. I recommend the following two areas as great avenues for duplication:
Having regular conversations with a coach who is an expert in your field will save you valuable time. There are two important keys to consider when looking for a coach. The first key is to find one that has the results that you desire. Think about it, if you aspired to start a business, hiring a coach that has successfully started twenty businesses would save you valuable time and keep you from making expensive mistakes. Secondly, make sure the coach demonstrates a pattern of continuous learning. Many successful coaches are also clients of a coach that they seek emulate. You would gain the benefit of their mentor’s knowledge and experience as a bonus.
Whenever we see a colleague succeeding in an area that we aspire to, the normal reaction is to try to compete with them. Instead, we must apply my WHO/WHY/WHAT formula by asking the following questions: Who is consistently the top performer in your company or market? Why do they always produce the best results? What do they do that you could duplicate, to get a similar result? The best way to find out what the top performer does is to ASK them. I apply this formula whenever I go into a new business situation. It has saved me valuable time and kept me from “re-inventing the wheel.”
Seeking out a coach and learning from a successful colleague will save you valuable time and give you a competitive edge without having to compete. If you found this week’s tip to be helpful, please share it using the social media buttons at the bottom of the page.
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
Nobody can do it like Eric! This was my motto early into my career as a District Manager in the automotive industry. I was responsible for five hundred employees and had seventeen managers that reported to me. My desire to delegate was low because I felt that if I wanted it done right, I had to do it. My days started early in the morning and ended late at night. I had limited free time and large amounts of stress.
I then made the following discovery that helped me move from burnout to breakthrough: My desire for perfection was the root cause of my failure to delegate. I had allowed perfect to become the enemy of progress. So how can you avoid making the same mistake that I did? Below are two steps that will help you to become a more effective delegator and break the perfectionist habit.
Calculate Your Time Value
The first step that helped me to become more willing to delegate was to calculate how much my time was really worth. Start by taking your desired annual income and dividing by 52 weeks. For example, let’s assume that your annual goal is to make at least $110,000. One hundred and ten thousand divided by fifty two is two thousand one hundred fifteen dollars. Next, you take the weekly dollars and divide by the average hours you work in a week. If you work a 50 hour work week your time is worth $42/hour. Now that you know how much your time is worth, you can use this to determine if the task is worthy of your time. If the task is not a $42/hour task, then it can be delegated.
I am often asked by business owners that work alone if they should hire a personal assistant. We have done the math and determined that their time is worth more than $60/hour in several cases. Paying someone ten dollars an hour to do the book keeping, make follow up calls, and schedule appointments is a smart investment that has created more time for them.
Create a Follow-Up System
The lack of a consistent follow-up system is a major reason for the fear and failure to delegate. Many an entrepreneur has been burned by a task that they delegated to an employee that never got done. The key to successful delegation is to establish how you plan to follow-up BEFORE you assign the task. For example, most email providers allow you to schedule reminders on emails that you have sent that have not been responded to. You can set it up so that you get an email in your inbox in 24 hours that reminds you that you need to follow-up.
When I was a District Manager, I used my “How will I know?” follow up system whenever I delegated an important task. I would ask the manager “How will I know when this is done?” They would tell me that they would call me to let me know. “Great, when can I expect your call?” was my next question. I would then put it on my phone calendar and set an alert that reminded me to follow up.
Calculating your time value and creating a follow up system will make you a more effective delegator and help you to break the perfectionist habit. Stay tuned for the next Twiggs Time Tip. Or read more in the world’s most complete Time Management EBook for executives and entrepreneurs.