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How I Choose What Tasks to Eliminate, Automate, or Delegate

Using time-energy system

Most productivity advice misses the mark.

Not because it's incorrect, but because it lacks context. We’re all wired differently. Some are night owls. Some of us are early birds. Some are single with no responsibilities and others have families.

This is why I choose systems over productivity habits.

The systems I share with you are meant as guidance.

I've mentioned before how I had a tough time with productivity when I started out. I read numerous books and listened to podcasts on time management and productivity, but nothing worked.

The Turning Point: Aligning Energy with Critical Tasks

This changed when I learned how our energy fluctuates throughout the day. I started monitoring my energy and noticed that my critical tasks weren't always aligned with when I felt most energized. I was attempting to brute force deep work in the early mornings because that's what the gurus told me.

The worst is when you’re doing the work with little to show for it. It’s not only demotivating. But it puts us at risk of losing sight of what matters and end up ignoring our loved ones or our health (like I did).

So, if you’re struggling with procrastination, or feeling like you’re spinning your gears but aren’t getting the results from your hard work then this is for you.

A New Approach: The Time-Energy System

Last week, we covered the importance of systems and touched on the three core systems:

  1. Time-Energy

  2. Financial

  3. Content

In this post, we dive deeper into the first of these systems: The Time-Energy System, and its two components:

  1. Time (E.A.D): This aspect allows you to determine what tasks should be eliminated, automated, or delegated to streamline your business operations.

  2. Energy: This aspect helps you identify your "peak" times when you're most energized and focused.

Eliminate, Automate, Delegate (E.A.D.) Weekly Review

How it works: Each Friday, I spend 15 minutes reviewing how my time for the week was spent. Tasks are automatically tracked so I don’t forget.

I recommend Rize (referral link: 25% off your first 3 months) or RescueTime. Both do a great job since they run in the background.

During these weekly reviews, I decide what to eliminate, automate, or delegate.

Rize Calendar Tracking

How I spent my week 5/15/23

Here is a recent review I did last week.

Immediately I noticed I was spending almost 3 hours on Canva for design work. Something I shouldn’t be doing.

Why? Because I’m awful at design work! 😅

Decision made: Delegate

To make this process easier for you, I've included all the templates at the bottom of this post.

Eliminate, Automate, Delegate (E.A.D): Your Path to Doing Less

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is more — or aim for maximum "productivity".

I prefer to have more time to do what I want, with whom I want, whenever I want. Don’t you?

Of course, this doesn’t magically happen.

That’s why I’ve included a template to help you do less of what you hate and more of what matters.

 E.A.D. Tracker Spreadsheet

E.A.D. Tracker Worksheet

Eliminate

Let’s briefly dive in on how it works.

The first step is identifying tasks that don't need to be done at all. If they don't add value to your business or personal goals, eliminate them.

If you're not saying "HELL YEAH!" about something, say no.

Automate

Next, consider tasks that you can automate.

  • Is it repetitive? Manual?

  • Can it be done with software?

Not sure what to automate? Check this out:

These two articles should get you started:

Delegate

Lastly, identify tasks that could be handled by others. It's easy to believe you need to do everything yourself — especially if you're a solopreneur. But the ultimate goal is to focus your energy on tasks that you enjoy and only you can do.

Note: Don't worry if you've never outsourced before. Right now, you're just trying to find the tasks you could potentially delegate.

Energy System

Energy Audit Spreadsheet

Energy Audit

The time-energy system starts off with an audit. The goal is to find which tasks energize you the most and at what times. This will help so you’re not spending your “peak” hours — on low-value tasks like email or meetings.

Already know when your peak laser focus hours are?

Skip this! Only try it if it’s something you feel will help you.

Click the button below to grab all 3 templates discussed in this post

Wrapping Up

To recap, we explored the Time-Energy System. Here's what you should take away from this:

  1. Recognize Your Energy Peaks: You don't have to force productivity. Instead, align your high-value tasks with your energy peaks.

  2. Time-Energy System: A system that helps streamline your tasks into two main components: time (E.A.D) and energy.

  3. Eliminate, Automate, Delegate (E.A.D): Analyze your tasks and identify which ones to eliminate, automate, or delegate.

    • Eliminate: Cut out tasks that don't contribute to your business or personal goals.

    • Automate: Automate repetitive manual tasks using software.

    • Delegate: Hand over tasks that others can handle better or that you don't enjoy doing.

  4. Time-Energy Audit: Perform a Time-Energy Audit to identify your peak energy times. Use these periods for high-value tasks.

Remember, the goal isn't to do more. But to do less of what drains you and more of what you enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know what you think by voting below!

Mike

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