Phil’s dairy has been growing fast over the last ten years. He started with 200 cows and is currently milking 3,200 cows. Obviously, he is good at growth, good at adding on. He has added more barns, more cows, more bunkers, and more acres. So today, he feels successful but exhausted. Phil commented he is constantly running from one task to the next, making it hard to work ON his business. Does Phil need to be everywhere and oversee everything? No. His time, like yours, is valuable. But he’s been holding onto tasks that aren’t necessarily the best use of HIS time.
All owners and managers come to a point when they must let some things go. There just isn’t enough time to get it all done. The answer to this problem is prioritization and delegation. But how?
Everything you do is NOT equally important to your success.
Prioritizing things that are the most important, not necessarily urgent, is key. It’s not always easy prioritizing tasks when everything seems important. Author and leadership expert, Stephen Covey, has a time management matrix that helps prioritize tasks in relation to their importance and urgency to YOU as a leader. It helps you decide whether you need to do a task yourself, delegate it to someone else, or eliminate it altogether.
Currently, you may be doing important things that other people in your business are capable of doing. These tasks, while essential, take you away from your main priorities of leadership. Delegation will help free up some time. Delegation is the act of letting go, and it is not easy. Letting go allows someone else to do things you once did. There is a good chance they may mess it up the first couple of times. Although that is hard to watch, even expensive, it is necessary. Letting go of these lower-level tasks allows you to focus your effort on working on the business. These essential tasks that only you are qualified to do.
Only after getting unimportant tasks off your plate can you look at the really important things that will propel your business forward.
Only after getting unimportant tasks off your plate can you look at the really important things that will propel your business forward and focus on your core duties as an owner. Maybe it entails working on another expansion or researching milk marketing options. Finding the right people and makings sure they are in the right roles. Penciling out ways to squeeze a little more cost out of production, knowing your numbers better than the banker, and getting a favorable loan.
Letting go is hard to do. But remember, not all work is equally important, and letting other employees step up allows them to grow as well. When Phil was approached with ideas of items to “let go,” he was instantly nervous. As we talked through the benefits, he understood where his time was better spent. Phil was able to achieve more time to spend On his business and with his family. He has obtained the wisdom to know what to hang on to and what to let go. Once you let go, you will have room to reach out for the new.
Read more on how to apply Covey’s time management matrix to your tasks. http://www.encore-consultants.net/stop-focusing-on-things-that-dont-matter/
Do you have questions on how to move ahead?
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