Stop Overwhelm: Use A Delegation Matrix to Get Back Your Time

We start businesses because we want to love what we do.


We start businesses to change the world.


We start businesses to pursue the creative thrill of launching something great and helping it grow.


We do not start businesses in order to spend our every waking hour stressed out, up to our ears in tasks that are way below our pay grade.


But the latter, rather than the former, is the reality for far too many entrepreneurs. Their dream has become a bit of a nightmare, an endless process of catch-up, can’t-forget, and can’t-stay-awake.


That’s why I absolutely love the Delegation Matrix. It’s a tool that I give to over-extended entrepreneurs that allows them to start upscaling business and downscaling stress. It works by giving them clarity over how they are spending their time and how they could be spending their time more efficiently and effectively.


The Delegation Matrix fits into a two-step process that includes templates and cheat sheets. In fact, you can check out that step-by-step process and download the free templates and cheat sheets—including the Delegation Matrix—right here. I won’t go over that process exhaustively in this post, but rather give you a fuller sense of why it works.


First, The Problem


Imagine that your workday is a dinner plate loaded up with food.


Now, a meal can be a treat or a trial. You could be a connoisseur enjoying several artfully prepared courses, or a 5-year-old who is struggling to eat their broccoli.


You may have started your entrepreneurial career expecting enjoyment, but all too often, you’re that 5-year-old. And dinner tastes gross.


Currently, your workday is like a meal that’s poorly planned and not too palatable. In fact, certain foods on your plate haven’t even been properly cooked. So, it’s taking you forever to get it all down.


But what if you could sweep half of the least tasty or nutritious foods off of your plate?


Then, what if the foods that are nutritious but poorly prepared could be transformed into delectable dishes? And what if you could fit in a few more scoops of whatever you love the best that is going to give you maximum energy and health?


You see, your current workday is made up of four types of activities, listed below. Because you’re the leader—not the manager, not the administrator—you should only be carrying out half of these.


Your dinner plate is congested by foods that aren’t delicious or nutritious. And you’re wasting your time trying to get all of it down.


The four types of activities are:

  1. What you should spend your time doing because it builds your business and energizes you

  2. What you should do—but much more efficiently

  3. What you should outsource

  4. What you should delegate

If your dream business has become a bit of a nightmare, I’m willing to bet it’s because you try to choke down whatever food ends up on your plate.


"Look at it like this: if spending an hour on a webinar might ultimately connect you with thousands of customers (and tens of thousands of dollars in sales), why would you spend that hour completing $15/hour administrative work?"


As a leader, you grow your business by tending to what only you can tend to. You definitely aren’t doing yourself or your organization any favours by trying to eat everybody’s dinner.


Enter the Delegation Matrix


The Delegation Matrix and the process it fits into allows you to understand how you are spending your time, and then take action on reorganizing that time.


You use it to plot out the activities that you track over the course of a week. Once you’ve done so, you can see which ones you should continue doing, which ones you should be doing only after you systematize them, and which ones you should be outsourcing or delegating.


Effectively, the Delegation Matrix allows you to take a more informed look at this unpalatable dinner plate that sits before you. It empowers you to say, “I will never eat broccoli again!” After all, you’re not five and you prefer spinach salad.


The idea is to reach a point where your workday is full of business-growing activities that energize you. When this happens, you’ll:

  • Upscale your business while downscaling your stress

  • Work fewer hours & gain the freedom to vacation

  • Build a business that you actually love

  • Develop an efficient, empowered team

Map Out A New Business-Scaling, Stress-Reducing Approach


I’ve already said I won’t go over the process of using the Delegation Matrix exhaustively in this post (you can check out the step-by-step guide here).


But, basically, the idea is to track all of your activities over a week and analyze how those activities impact your energy and contribute to your business.


Once you’ve done that, you can use the Delegation Matrix (pictured below) to plot out where these activities fall in terms of those four categories I mentioned earlier.


DO

These are enjoyable activities that don’t take up too much time. They also give you energy.


What to do with these activities?

Do them, enjoy them, and watch them grow your business and your satisfaction.


SYSTEMATIZE AND DO

These are activities that require more time but still give you energy or have a neutral impact on your energy.


What to do with these activities?

Create an efficiency-boosting system for energizing actions that take more time. Then, do the same for those that impact your energy in a neutral way. Depending on the resources you have available in your business, you will systematize and do all of the energizing activities and eventually outsource all (or almost all) of the activities that have a neutral impact.


SYSTEMATIZE AND OUTSOURCE

These are actions that require little time but drain your energy.


What to do with these activities?

Create an efficiency-boosting system for these activities and then outsource them. By systematizing before outsourcing, you will ensure cost-effectiveness, clear expectations, and—ultimately—success.


DELEGATE

These are activities that require more time and also drain your energy.


What to do with these activities?

Delegate—intelligently. Even if you believe that you are the only person who can do these activities, there is a better way—and maybe you and I should talk more about that! By delegating more of these $10/hour and $100/hour tasks to qualified team members, you will scale your business and not your stress.


It’s More Than “Just Delegating”


I know you’ve been told to “just delegate”. And there’s something inside of you that thinks, “It’s just not that simple.” And you know what? You’re so right.


“Just delegating” without the proper systems in place—or a better understanding of what is crucial for you, and you alone, to do—is folly. It’s like dumping your dinner plate onto the floor and expecting your kitchen to clean itself up.


The Delegation Matrix (and associated two-step process—once again, found here) delivers a more nuanced perspective. It can ensure that you see what needs to be systematized before it can be outsourced or delegated. And it helps you to see what those $1,000/hour and $10,000/hour tasks really are. They’re the same ones that will grow your business rather than your busy-ness.


Ultimately, this is about building a business that you love.


I 100% know it’s within your power to do that, no matter how hectic or overwhelming your day to day has gotten. Take the time to take a closer look at your current reality—as well as the joyful, profitable, and energizing experience that awaits you.







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