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8 Tasks You Should Be Delegating

8 Tasks You Should Be Delegating

Recent studies have shown that multitasking isn’t just bad for your productivity, but also your intelligence. A study at the University of London found that IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

In other words, every time you send an email whilst on a conference call, you’re severely damaging your cognitive ability. If there’s ever been an excuse to start doing less, this is it. It’s better for you and better for your business.

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Here are eight tasks you should be delegating:

1. Diary Management

Anyone who leads a hectic lifestyle will know that the only way to succeed and remain sane is to have a well organised diary, but that takes time and careful consideration. It’s not just a case of packing every hour of every day with meetings and phone calls, you need to factor in travelling time, preparation time, level of importance and personal considerations. Handing over your diary to a personal assistant is instantly more efficient and stress-relieving.

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2. Research

Research can be interesting and important, but few entrepreneurs have the time to wade through all the irrelevant information that clogs up the web. Asking someone to help out with preliminary research filters out anything unnecessary so that you receive and read only the best bits. Plus you can assign someone to keep tabs on a particular industry development so that you stay informed on what’s happening without having to do the leg work.

3. Social Media

Social media is an all-consuming job. To stay on top of all the different platforms, latest trends, updates and customer interaction, you need to be constantly active and innovative. Most small businesses lack the expertise to do social media really well, which results in an ineffective and even damaging strategy. Considering that social media is probably the largest influencer now on customers and potential clients, it’s worth investing in the help of a professional. Plus it means you don’t have to keep constantly racking your brains for something original to post on Instagram.

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4. Accounting

Keeping a company’s or your own personal accounts in order is absolutely vital, but requires patience and again, time. Plus if you’re not clued up on numbers and the most recent regulations or you’re rushing through to get it finished, you risk doing it wrong and facing stiff consequences. You’re much better to hand over the burden to someone else, who can handle the day to day dealings and can keep you advised on anything important that’s going on.

5. Event Planning

Whether a new product launch, office drinks, wedding or children’s birthday party, event planning is one of the most stressful tasks we handle professionally and personally, especially if we’re trying to squeeze it in around everything else that’s going on in our lives. Delegating doesn’t have to mean relinquishing all control, it just means allowing someone else to chase the caterers, book the venue and post the invitations. When it’s a roaring success, you reap the glory.

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6. Personal Admin

This includes pretty much anything that’s necessary to keep your life on track from finding a babysitter, booking a gym class, a restaurant, a hotel, a massage, returning an item of clothing, sending flowers or doing the online weekly shop. Essentially all the things that put a pause on the momentum of our day. Imagine if you never had to do all that reserving, calling and emailing but for once, you got to just enjoy yourself instead?

7. Formatting

We waste hours playing around with the formatting of a document, presentation or booklet to make it look vaguely presentable when we could just be sending the information across to someone else who can make it look amazing in half the time. It will save you the frustration and could dramatically improve your’s and your company’s image.

8. Filing

Filing seems like such a small task to handle, but actually takes up a huge amount of your time, particularly if you’re the kind of person who pushes it all to one side “to do later”. Delegate to someone who can stay on top of it; you’ll thank yourself later.

Featured photo credit: Damien Zaleski via unsplash.com

More by this author

Richard Walton

Founder of AVirtual

Boost your creativity, be more productive Hitchhiker by Atlas Green Why asking for help isn’t the same as giving in The Secret to Productivity: Work Less, Get More Done Clearing the office to clear the mind 8 Tasks You Should Be Delegating

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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