Preparing For A Business Break: 3 Tangible Steps
Burnout. It's real, folks, and we've all been there! But Wait.... What if I told you it's possible to be a small business owner and take a break!? WHA???
Yes. It is possible and actually encouraged!
The key to being able to take a business break is to keep your business running efficiently and effectively - not a scrambling mess.
What is the key to being able to take a business break/running your company efficiently and effectively?!
Eliminate. Automate. Delegate.
This is so important because it's not just your business at stake here- but the well being of your time + life!
Here's a quote by Timothy Ferris that we feel really sums up this productivity idea: “Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient?”
Today, we are going to take you through each step and start putting this thinking into practice:
Start by, asking yourself these two questions for every task within your business/life:
1. Why do this task?
2. How do I prevent myself from having to do it again?
These questions might have got you into trouble in school, but the more you applied them to business, the more efficient your business will become.
Step 1. Eliminate + Simplify
The first step is to get rid of anything unnecessary. How many of your tasks really NEED to be done? And if they really need to be done – do they all have to be done by you? Or done in the same way that you’ve always done them?
If tasks are still remaining after you eliminated some - work to simplify the rest!
What could have simplified things? What systems, processes, resources or people need to be developed or utilised to make such tasks and work much more effective, efficient, easy and effective in future?
Many tasks you currently undertake could probably be done by someone else. But first of all, make sure that they need to be done at all.
It’s a common misconception that working more gets you more results. Don’t be fooled! Focus on “effectiveness over efficiency.” It’s no good being efficient in tasks that are not effective in the results you desire.
Elimination Bonus: Look over your recent past tasks. Start with looking at the last week in your diary – at those meetings, phone calls, conferences, visits, projects or whatever has filled your time. Go beyond the appointments listed in the diary and remember the work tasks you have been actually doing in that time; or the projects your business has been engaged in. Task by task:Which of them could you have eliminated completely? Which were either a waste of your time, or did not offer enough value in return for your investment. What does this teach you for the future?
Step 2: Automate
Once you've finish eliminating and simplifying it is now time to automate everything you can!
What could you have automated?
How can you set up systems, machinery, methods or processes that mean that you don’t even have to be involved?
What can you do, so that it all happens ‘automatically’?
You should be running your business, not your business running your life!
Step 3: Delegate
Okay... so you've eliminated and simplified, and automated - now all that's left are tasks that need to be done, but just not necessarily by you! That is where delegation comes in play (remember, you need to work on your business, not in it!)
Start by asking yourself:
What could you have delegated?
And to whom? Who could do it faster, better, more efficiently?
Do you already have someone in place to whom you can delegate such work – or do you need to outsource, or employ someone?
If you do this exercise for your past week, or the past six months – imagine how useful this is when you apply the learning and project your vision out into the next week or six months.
What will best cut your workload, save you time, effort and money – AND get you even better results, profits, efficiencies or performance? And a better quality of life, too!
Use the process below for any task to turbocharge your performance. Ask yourself the following four questions:
Q1 – Eliminate
Does this task need to be done?
Does it help me get to where I want to go?
If yes, go to Q2.
If no – don’t do it!
Q2 – Simplify
Can this task be simplified?
If yes, simplify it.
If no, go to Q3
Q3 – Automate
Can this task be automated?
If yes, automate.
If no, go to Q4.
Q4 – Delegate
Can this task be delegated?
If no, identify what needs to happen in order to delegate it.
Go through this process every time, and there should not be much left for you to do! Great result! This adds long term value to your business and your life. Repetitive tasks, or tasks that aren’t streamlined, are of least value, yet most often clutter entrepreneurs’ lives.
Every repetitive or low value task you eradicate gets you one step closer to where you want to be.
Every moment you free up can be used more productively to achieve your goals and liberate yourself for greater things – like being incredible!
Here are a couple of books we recommend on this topic:
The Four Hour Week by Tim Ferris
The E-myth, why most businesses don't work and what to do about it by Michael E. Gerber
Getting Things Done by David Allen