How to Figure Out What To Take Off Your Plate Next

Confession: I hate creating systems.

Truth be told, I just don’t have the patience for it. And so creating systems and processes quite literally isn’t in my job description.

It’s in someone else’s job description … just not mine.

See, there’s a lot of things that need to get done in a business.

But when’s the last time you sat down to think about what they all are, for you?

If you’re like most of our clients, you’ve probably never sat down to create a comprehensive list of all the things that happen in your business.

That’s why every time we start working with someone new, we help them identify the master list of things that need doing in their business …

So that we can then help them sort out which of those things they should keep doing, which should be moved to other people on their team, and which they’ll need to hire someone to take over.

The List: 25 Things To Be Done

Now, when we first started doing this work, we came up with the list from scratch every time.

But as we’ve done it over and over, we’ve found that there is a relatively short number of things that have to get done in every business.

Here they are:

  • New Ideas, Research & Development
  • Biz Strategy & Creative Problem Solving
  • Biz Dev, Relationships & Partnerships
  • Set Vision, Mission & Culture
  • Sell the Big Deals
  • Lead, Manage & Keep Team Accountable
  • Execute the Business Plan
  • Communicating Plans to Team
  • Prioritize Projects & Resources
  • Reach Sales Targets
  • Sell the Product
  • Market the Product
  • Create / Make the Product
  • Deliver the Product
  • Define Sales & Marketing Processes
  • Customer Service
  • Process Design & Control
  • Accounts Receivable / Payable
  • Budgeting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Human Resources
  • Office or Business Management
  • Web Design / Development
  • Analyzing Data & Testing for Marketing
  • Configure & Manage Internal Systems

From here, we next look at who on the current team is responsible for each item. Each gets a single name put beside it—the person who owns the responsibility for making sure it gets done.

This can sometimes pose a challenge because multiple people may be involved in any given task.

But that’s where it’s important to remember that it’s not about who does the item; it’s about who is responsible for each item.

In other words, regardless of who actually does the work, we want to know who is the one who needs to make sure it gets done.

There is always be only one person who is ultimately responsible for any given item. And if you’re not sure who it is, that means it’s probably you.

If You Feel Like Your Business Is Bottlenecked, This Could Be Why

For many of our clients, this is a very eye-opening experience.

Consider Denise Duffield-Thomas, who already had quite a large team when she came to us.

But even with all those people working with her, she found that her name kept showing up over and over again as she went down the list.

This, of course, was unsustainable.

And she’s not alone; it’s probably the biggest factor we find that leads business owners to feel like they’re the bottleneck in their business. Because no matter how good you are at delegating if you are still the one ultimately responsible, you’ll never be free of the day-to-day.

That’s why the next questions to ask yourself are:

And so the next question to ask is:

  • What from this list do you want to keep doing?, and
  • For all the things you want off your plate, what is your timeline for making it happen?

By being specific about these details, you can make and implement a plan for moving things around to other people.

What Needs To Be Taken Off Your Plate?

Of course, it’s one thing to know what you’d like to have off your plate; it’s quite another to actually use this knowledge to help you free up time for yourself in your business.

Which is why I’ve got a challenge for you.

Note: most people won’t do this. But I know that the one or two who actually do will be far more successful at freeing themselves up to spend more time in their Zone of Genius, over the next 90 days. Will one of them be you?

Your Challenge:

Go through the 25 Things To Be Done list right now, and write down who is responsible for each item in your business right now. Include contractors, regular team members, … whoever it is for your business. And don’t forget yourself (!!)

Then pick the top FIVE things that you are currently doing that you want to take off your plate ASAP, and put a star beside each.

If you want to start freeing yourself up so you can actually start doing the things you enjoy in your business, instead of doing the things you hate …

Then finding someone else to be responsible for those five things is how it all begins.

And if you’d like some help brainstorming ways to make that happen, then take a photo or screenshot of your list and send it to us via Facebook message.

I’ll take a look, and if there’s anything I can see that will make it easier for you to reach that goal, I’ll let you know.