Get some time back on your calendar by learning how to use leverage.
We all have the same amount of hours in a week. So how come do some people seem to get more done?
It’s easy to think that productive people work harder, but that’s not necessarily true. The most effective leaders have learned to work smarter. To successfully lead a company, department, or team, you need to be productive while staying on top of your time and priorities. But you can only do so much on your own. The secret to getting more done during the week is learning how to make the most of your time.
Leverage allows you to multiply your time simply by adding a little power. When you learn how to use leverage better, you can grow beyond your current capacity without being stressed or overworked.
Time leverage means getting the most significant result with the least amount of effort. You can use several strategies to leverage time to increase productivity and achieve better results.
Time leverage allows you to multiply the speed at which you can get things done. A key aspect of time leverage is delegation. You can also leverage your time by hiring new employees, building systems or processes, automating processes using technology, outsourcing, and taking advantage of downtime.
In this post, we will focus primarily on how to leverage your time through delegation. Delegation is the golden art of asking for help. Empowering other people to help you pursue your goals gives you the most value from delegation. No matter how good you are, you will get the results if you let others help you.
Think of rowing a boat: Can you do it alone?
Sure, but if you have a few others rowing as a team, you can go a lot further. If you are not able to delegate effectively, you’ll never be able to stretch your work beyond your capabilities.
If you can manage to make the best use of your time, you can be exponentially productive. Here is a 4-step easy process you can use to better manage your time to maximize your productivity and focus on more critical tasks each week.
1) Create a plan.
Successful time management starts with setting aside time and space to plan. Planning helps you develop a progressive mindset and gives you direction and guidance, so you do not waste time on the wrong tasks.
Start by planning each week in advance. At the end of every week, sit down with a list of goals you need to accomplish for the year. In doing so, be guided by your long-term vision. Determine the big chunks you need to achieve by the end of this quarter or month to meet your goals for the year. Use these goals as a guide to keep you on track week after week. Then write a plan for what needs to be done that week.
By creating a plan, you’ll go into the week focused and keep your long-term goals in mind while identifying opportunities to make the most of your time.
2) Identify opportunities that you can take advantage of.
As you plan your week, look for opportunities to save time. Here are some examples of how you can save time each week without delegating it. Work on similar tasks in blocks. A simple trick to staying constantly productive is to work on similar tasks in blocks throughout the week. For example, instead of randomly writing emails to potential clients, schedule a 2-hour block twice weekly to focus on business development. By batching similar tasks together, you can develop a rut and work faster and more efficiently.
Make the most of your commute. Take advantage of time on your commute by scheduling calls for that time. Use meetings to address multiple issues. When you meet with someone, use the time to bring up additional topics you were planning to discuss. This way, you save time by not having to schedule another meeting or send emails back and forth.
Use technology. There are several apps or software that can help you save time. For instance, you can use a calendar app that reminds you of upcoming appointments so you do not have to spend time following up. Alternatively, you can use project management software to track where your team stands on a project.
3) Determine who can take on additional tasks.
While delegating tasks can significantly save you time and productivity, it’s essential to identify the “why” behind what you want to charge. Think about the tasks you have specified. Is there someone on your team who would be better suited for that task?
Here are a few tasks you can delegate to save time. Recurring tasks: Look for frequent tasks. Routine tasks are a great time to delegate them. Tasks that do not benefit you: This point can be tricky because sometimes you have to do tasks that do not directly benefit you.
However, this is a great place to start looking. Think about the task and ask yourself, “Am I responsible for this task”? If the answer is “no,” consider delegating the task to someone who will benefit from completing it, as motivation may be higher. Tasks you are not good at Practice make perfect, but we all know our strengths and weaknesses at the end of the day. If you are not great at a particular task, see if someone else can do it better.
This could even be an opportunity to swap tasks with something you excel at. This will still save you time because the better we are at something, the faster we work through it.
Tasks that take way too much time: Before you try to delegate all the tasks on your list, consider who you would delegate them to. If a task is taking a lot of time, look for ways to improve its efficiency and speed before delegating it.
What not to delegate?
- Tasks that require your expertise: If you are the expert on the task, you will have a hard time delegating it. If the task requires your specific expertise, you should stick to it. Look for other ways to delegate.
- Tasks you do not understand: If you do not understand a task, you need to take the time to understand it before delegating it appropriately. Your name is still behind the task.
4) Set up a follow-up or management plan.
Most people do not delegate; they do not do it. When you delegate tasks, you need to make sure they are successful. There is often a disconnect between delegation and success.
When you delegate, you need to set clear expectations and provide support, coaching, and follow-up. Regular check-in and accountability meetings can help optimize time and allow you to assess how the task is going or if additional help is needed. This ensures effective delegation and continued success.
Leveraging allows you to work less and accomplish more. However, if you do not know where to start, try the 26-hour challenge. Take a look at your calendar and find 30 minutes you can use each week. You’ll get 26 hours back next year if you do this throughout the year.