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HireMyVA Podcast 124- Delete, Delegate, or Defer – How do I do that?

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Episode Summary

If you want to get the most out of the basic, yet most effective time management strategy, you must list and track all your daily tasks and try our Three Column exercise. You can then get to decide what you want to do with that specific task, whether to Delete, Delegate or Defer.

Organizing a work or project into one of these categories allows you to better manage your limited time and stay focused on the things that matter most to you.

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Episode Transcription

Dave Braun
Hey, everyone. Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast brought to you by Yoogozi.com. In this podcast and at HireMyVA, we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with virtual assistants without breaking the bank- and like always, it is your bank, the most important bank. I’m Dave Braun. I’m here with Larry Broughton, my partner in all things. Coaching, fantastic business mentor. Larry walking with me through life. We’ve got challenges like we talked about last episode, but we’re going through them together. Aren’t we?

Larry Broughton
Hello, handsome Dave!

Dave Braun
Hey, how are you doing in your car?

Larry Broughton
What are you talking about? all right so for those who watch these sequentially, and I actually did speak to somebody in Dallas this past weekend where I was at an event, and they refused to jump around. They want to watch every one of these episodes and say what they watch them sequentially. If you’re watching, your cuckoo, okay. Since you are watching or other people who just jump around and see them whenever they want, if you did watch the previous episode. Yes, I’m in my car. I got kicked out of my office. And so I’m here with my dog Bodie in the back. He’s here.

Dave Braun
No, no. Come on. Yeah. I want to see him.

Larry Broughton
Let me fix this. I can actually see how this goes. Bobo. Can you see him in the back? Laying down?

Dave Braun
Yeah, he’s a cool dog.

Larry Broughton
He’s an awesome dog. Anyway, with that said we’re making this work. We want to get content out there for you folks. And you know, sometimes I know what the questions are before we go into this. This is one of those where I do actually know. And I’m glad we’re talking about this, Dave, and I’m going to let you actually read the question, but it’s one of those things that comes up over and over and over again in business. And I know we’ve touched on it peripherally, I think in the past. And it’s come up so often, but let’s why don’t you go ahead and read the question.

Dave Braun
Okay. Here’s the question? How do I figure out what to delete, delegate or defer?

Larry Broughton
It’s just, this is one of those things that triple D that we talk about, and really we want people are trying to figure out is how do I get past overwhelm? One of the things that they’re trying to figure out, or I’ve got too much on my plate, what do I do? Or I’m burned out. These are all varieties of the same question. Because I think we all know. I remember the first time professionally where I was, I was so overwhelmed and I was ready to like throw in the towel on this job that I had had until I finally sat down and said, well, jeez, Larry, you’re on a special forces A Team before, what did you guys do there? You know? Well, first thing I had a team, you know what I mean? And when I was on a special forces A Team if it was a communications thing, I didn’t try to figure it out.

Larry Broughton
But the camo guy, do you know, if it was regarding a demo or an engineering thing, I let the engineer do it. I didn’t try to figure it out. Now I carried my weight and it wasn’t like, oh, that’s not my job. Everyone was trying to do everyone else’s job. But if it required an expert in that area, I’ll let the experts do it. But in entrepreneurship, Dave, and business ownership, oftentimes we do so many things because there is no one else. It all falls on our shoulders. And so one of the things that we recommend, Dave is first of all, doing this three column exercise, but it’s so simple, but it’s so powerful. It’s so simple, but it’s not easy sometimes because you got to take time to do it.

Dave Braun
Let me say one thing before that is, you know, you guys might have heard this before, we have talked about it. It’s a brilliant exercise. And you know, Larry mentioned doing this when we feel overwhelmed, but really this needs to be a regular part of our weekly planning, our monthly planning. Because even if we have a team, us as entrepreneurs, we tend to want to do it ourselves. Some of you may suffer like I do sometimes from the hero syndrome. And so you think that only you can do it well, and it’s so easy for that to-do list to just grow and grow and grow. One of the things that reminds me of is what is Jim Collins saying, his amazing book Good to Great, his first line is “Good is the enemy of great”. And if we don’t do this exercise on a regular basis, if we don’t take a look at our to-do list appropriately, we are going to get stuck in doing the good and we won’t get to the great.

Larry Broughton
Yeah. Two of the most important hires I’ve ever made in my career is when I hired a in-house brought our accounting in-house. But also when I hired an executive assistant, I think that can down the road for years thinking I wasn’t worthy of one, but you know how much now, well this is not the first one. I mean, in 20 years I’ve had a couple of them, but to Melissa she’s been with us for about five years I think at this point. Once I rely on her and then the rest of the executive team in my office, that’s why you can be a high-performance because you have people to delegate to. The idea of this three-column is just take a piece of paper, turn it landscape wise and then you have to make three columns, you’re going to put two lines down this thing.

Larry Broughton
And in the far-left column, you’re going to put doing at the very top in the center column, you’re going to put great at, at the top and then the far-right column, you’re going to put love it. I’m going to share my screen and show it for those who are on. Yeah. Now if you’re in our, any of our Mastermind Programs or the Victory Program or the HireMyVA program, then we provide this for you. And so in that, so the first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to write everything. And this is going to be a long list, by the way, you’re going to need multiple pages for everything you’re doing. And I mean, everything you’re doing, it was even picking up, dropping off your dry cleaning should, should go in there. Whether it’s going to be a county accounts payable.

Larry Broughton
I mean, you get into the weeds, everything that you’re doing goes in there and usually is a very long list. And then you would take a deep breath, take a shot of whiskey or something, cause you’re going to probably need it for that. And then the next thing you’re going to do, you’re going to start writing everything that you’re great at. Now, here’s the thing that you need to remember if you want, you can just move things from the doing into the great act column, because there are going to be some things that you’re doing that you’re great at. There may be things that you’re great at that you’re currently not doing because you don’t have time to do that. You might be a great at sales, but you’re so wrapped up in the weeds and running the business and operationally that you’re not doing that.

Larry Broughton
Does that make sense? Do you want to get those things that you’re great at end of this column, whether you’re currently doing them or you’re not doing them. So this is going to be a much shorter list than they’re doing. If you’re like anyone else in the world, maybe the unicorn that’s not right. But then the third step, Dave, just move everything into this column that you’re great at and that you love. Most people are only spending low double digits, doing things that they’re great at and that they love. Many people and I mean, many, I don’t know what the percentage is. They’re spending single digits doing that. And this is where burnout comes from. If you think about it, if all day long, you’re doing things that you don’t like, you don’t love and you’re not great at, no wonder you feel ground down.

Larry Broughton
No wonder you feel like hamburger on the other end at the time. Well guess what most of your teams, feel the same way. How would morale be in your organization? How would productivity be in your organization? If you can move those numbers from spending 12% of your day doing things that you’re great at, that you love to 60%, Morale shooting through the roof, productivity will go through the roof. And so the idea is that those things that you’re doing, that you’re not great at and you don’t love, you need to then go through and do this delete, delegate and defer. And I’ve been rambling for a long time. If you want to kind of pick up from there, Dave, you’re welcome to, or you can just say, keep going. It’s up to you.

Dave Braun
No, no. I think it’s, I think it’s great. That was a great explanation of the three-column exercise and how important that is. So once we have that down, so we’ve got those three columns there. And the first thing that we talk about is delete, right? So Larry, tell me, how do we actually delete something?

Larry Broughton
Well, you got to ask yourself, is it even important to be doing? Sometimes we do things just because you always been doing them.

Larry Broughton
And this just means you got to ask, do I really need to be doing this? If it’s not vital to the funk of the business, maybe you just don’t even do it anymore. Then you got to be ruthless with this because the worst thing you can do is delegate something that doesn’t really need to be done, because people are going to be asking the question if they’ve never done it before, and you’re asking them to do it, if they don’t actually articulate it in their mind, they’re asking what value does it bring to me, my function in the business or to the organization. There’s nothing more refreshing. I remember the first couple times doing this, realizing, laughing at myself, you know, with a little bit of humor, self-deprecating humor. It’s like, yeah, why am I doing this? It really doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. It might’ve made sense two years ago.

Larry Broughton
It might’ve made sense six months ago, but do I really need to be doing it now? Like in the, in the hotel industry, I remember I was in the hotel industry when everything was done manually. And then we switched over to doing everything, went to computers, but one of these managers in the organization didn’t trust it and so we were doing both the manual and the computer automated version of it. Like how long do we need to keep doing both of these? Because we’re making more work. The idea of the automate is to make things simpler or efficient, more accurate. Does that make sense? Yeah. So just delete, get ruthless about deleting things in your life.

Dave Braun
But we have to also remember that they were on our list for a particular reason. At one point we had to do that. So there is, you know, we talk about Rory Vaden and his book Procrastinate on Purpose. One of the things he talks about was we have to give ourselves the emotional permission to ignore it. We have to say, hold on, it might’ve kind of been good, but it doesn’t really need to be done. I still want to do it, but I just, I just got to ignore it. And I think one of the ways to do that, Larry is to remember that if you’re doing something like this, that really you could delete, you are keeping yourself away from doing what only you can do in some of the great things or that love at. We’ve only got so much time. Right. And we’ve got to be protected. We’ve got to protect that time. And like you said, a good word for that is be ruthless with it because we’ve only got so much time, if we say yes to one thing, we’re almost always saying no to something else.

Larry Broughton
Yeah. Dave, I think the deleting is almost easier than the next one, which is delegating. If somebody was thinking, no one can do it as good as me or that’s not the way I would do it. But to delegate effectively, you need to know your team members, or you need to know enough about the business function that you can outsource it to someone who is better

Dave Braun
And have your car and have your quality checks when it comes back in. And that kind of thing.

Larry Broughton
So you got to ask yourself, is this something I can hand off to someone else? Or is this something that I actually have to do? Because the truth is in business, in leadership, there are going to be things that you’re not great at and that you don’t love that you simply have to do. And then you got, then you got to move into acceptance. But most things, no, most things you can delegate to other people, but you have to have a willingness to do it. But to have the willingness you need to actually know what are the strengths of your team members or to the people that are going to be outsourcing this to. Which brings up the very, I’m just going to make a statement. I’m not going to go into detail is why you should do assessments. Particularly the Kolby A index assessment and the Strength Finders assessments to find out, am I handing this off to the right person?

Larry Broughton
Because if you’re handing something off to the wrong person, it’s only all you’re doing is kicking the can down the road. And they’re going to be equally as frustrated as you are. And then you’re going to get frustrated with them and it’s not getting done effectively. But if you can hand off things that you are mediocre or good at to hand them off to someone who is great at it, you know what that’s going to do? Not only is the task going to be, be done better. It’s going to be done quicker. Things that we’re not great at, it takes us longer to do generally.

Dave Braun
Right? Oh my gosh.

Larry Broughton
But the hand off David’s where I want to spend just a second. Too many of us think that it’s got to be perfect when I handed it off to someone else, you have to have the emotional freedom to expect in perfection. There is no such thing as perfection in the business arena anyway. And I don’t want to get into this either, but all I’m going to say is this is where you need to get to the point where you say, hey, here are my expectations for this or better. If you’ve listened to these podcasts long enough, you know, that’s one of the ways we talk about delegating. But yeah. So I guess I would hand it over to you. Do you have other thoughts on delegating?

Dave Braun
Yeah. And I think that you hand it over to somebody who’s got the strengths. They could come back to you with the result, and it may not be as good as you want. Well, that is, guess what an opportunity for training,

Larry Broughton
Coach him up.

Dave Braun
To coach him up and if they have it in their strengths, then they will actually grow. And they are going to do amazing work. For example, you know, Daphne on our team, on the graphics and what she does, man, she has grown so much over the years and her stuff, I can just almost, when we talk about delegate, we don’t want to abdicate meaning, throw it over the wall, but I can almost do that with her, so many things.

Larry Broughton
But you have to give her direction. And what you’re talking about, people say, well, I delegated to them and then it comes back in a crappy format or they missed a deadline. And you say, well, this is why I don’t delegate. No. What you had to do is you have to check in on them. How’s it going? Do you need, need help on it? Are you going to meet our deadlines that we’re talking about? Do you need me to check in with you later on, you got to have a conversation. But I think that is that what you just said, and I know it was a throwaway statement, but I think it’s one of the most important things about delegating. Delegation does not mean abdication. You are still ultimately responsible for making sure that it gets done. You check in with them along the way. And by the way, when you, when you hand this off to someone who’s better at it than you are, you learn along the way.

Dave Braun
Oh, for sure. Yeah. Right. And so that when you delegate, you’ve got to come up with some kind of, I would call it a tickler system because you, as an entrepreneur, you’re going to be delegating a whole bunch of stuff, hopefully as time goes and you can’t keep it all in your head. You don’t want to keep it in your head. So you’ve either got to have some type of a to-do list where you’re talking to them about something in the future, or put it into a program management system with a due date. And then you check every now and then. So you have to have those types of systems in place for them.

Larry Broughton
That’s a good lead in, Dave when you talk about project management system, you need to do list and that is the third thing is Defer. Cause sometimes we do have to say, okay, this is on my to-do list and it’s taken emotional energy for me. Every time I look at it, I get anxiety about it. Is this something that needs to be done right now? is this something that can do next quarter, next year, six months. We’re not whatever. You have to be brutally honest with yourself. Sometimes, you mentioned the hero syndrome earlier, some of us like to walk around, like these are badges of honor about how romped we are. And everybody’s got to know how overwhelmed we are, but truthfully, if it’s something that, you know, I need to think about a new office space and it’s always on your list, but you’re really not even moving for two years. Come on. Really? Let’s put that in your tickler file and review it a little bit later on. Because honestly, it’s on your radar, it’s in the back of your mind as new information comes forward, you’ll make a different decision closer to that when that needs to be made, than you would now. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

Dave Braun
No, that does. So here’s a, this is going to be a really simple example, Larry. Think about your taxes. So by law, everybody’s supposed to give you, you don’t want to think about it, but by law everybody’s supposed to get you all your statements by January 31st. Right? So if you say, you know, I’m just going to do my taxes so early, I’m going to be ready by January 15. Well, that’s kind of dumb because you don’t have all of the information, so you’ve got to delay it. However, if say you start coming in, you could do your taxes as early as February, or you could continue to put it down, kick the can down the road for 3, 4, 5, 6 months. There could be a cost to that. The idea about when we talk about procrastination and delaying is it makes sense to delay. If there’s going to be more information or something else is going on in your life, that is like you have to get surgery.

Dave Braun
Okay. Well, it makes sense to do an extension for your taxes. But if none of that is going on, if it’s not going to make it any easier, three or four or five months down the road from now, then you might as well bite the bullet and get it done. Otherwise, that’s kind of classic procrastination. And you know, I’m just on a side note, that’s one of the systems I have is set an appointment with our tax guy in mid to end February. It forces me to get stuff done on time. There’s a bunch of advantages to that, but we won’t go into that now, but yeah, you just got to be careful that you are not delaying from a procrastination perspective, you’re delaying because that’s going to actually help you to get the job done better.

Larry Broughton
Well, procrastination is one of those could be an ugly thing. I do, like Rory’s talk about Procrastinating on Purpose, but sometimes, not always, sometimes people procrastinate when they say they’re procrastinating when really they’re fearful. They’re afraid to go do that project for whatever, I’m not prepared for it, I don’t have the skill set, it makes me uncomfortable with whatever it is. This is just this whole process, this whole three column exercise, you need to be honest with yourself. So I think it’s really valuable when you start the process saying, okay, I’m going to be honest with myself here. I’m going to be brutally honest with myself here because the results are going to bring freedom to my life. And again, this is why we do, these podcasts is to help you find more freedom in your life. And I know some people and I’m a little bit flattered because I got a couple of messages over the weekend from people who watch these things. But my question always is, are you applying this stuff though? Just to come in and just be handsome Dave, listen to you know his sultry voice?

Dave Braun
But that’s is, so if you’re going to apply something, but as an example, all this method, if you want to apply it, one of the first things you’ve got to do, and this, we talked about this before is you got to set a date and a time on your calendar to go through it. So if you’re thinking that, oh my gosh, I’ve got to do this three column exercise because I got to get a handle on what’s going on. I got too many things to do, I have no idea if I should delete something, defer it delegate, I have no idea. Set 30 minutes and re-listen to this podcast a little bit and then start doing the three-column exercise. Just start. Once you start, that will give you momentum and you’ll be able to finish. And if that 30 minutes is up and you don’t have any more time at the end of that 30 minutes, schedule another 30 minutes later or an hour, whatever works for you, but schedule it on your calendar to do it. And don’t, and don’t just ignore it.

Larry Broughton
I could feel a smirk coming out, because if you, if this is the first episode you’ve watched us do this again, apologies for my fancy office here, but you hit one of those things, that’s just one of my pleasure buttons. It’s the big Mo- momentum. So many people look for motivation outside of themselves and outside of their efforts, going to seminars over and over and over again, but not taking action. So they have to go to another seminar to get that dopamine boost, right? But if you just do things, that’s really like, action is power. Not knowledge- Action is power. When you take that first step and you put that dusty bloody boot in front of the next step, you start to feel good, right? So momentum is really, really powerful. That’s why Dave and I call it the big MO, right? And so you’re going to hear this term with, this is the first time you’ve ever seen one of these episodes. We talk about the big MO a lot.

Dave Braun
You got to do an episode on fear and momentum, we got to do that. We’re going to do one in the next few weeks on that. Cause, that I have, and I control the topics so, if you don’t like it, lump it! Bodie go bite him. But yeah, the fear and the momentum it’s oh my gosh. It’s amazing. How small little things that you do can really lead to major, major accomplishments. Yeah. So we got to talk about fear and momentum. Okay. Well, anything else on this, Larry?

Larry Broughton
No, I think this was good. Okay. I’m just going to be honest with yourself. Be brutal, you know, because this is one of the most Trend, it’s one of the most simple things that we talk about, but truly Dave, is it not one of the most powerful things people like to transform and you know this and that we always hear, Oh my gosh, powerful!

Dave Braun
Yeah. I agree. Right. Well everybody, thank you for joining us, for being with us. Remember building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom. You got to build a team. If you’re going to have somebody to delegate to, but we’re here to help you with our course and community and our White Glove Service, where we find a Rockstar VA for you. Three things we’d love for you to do and we’d really appreciate it. Number one, subscribe to this podcast, if you haven’t already done so. Number two, give us a rating, preferably five star, or make a comment below this video, if you’re watching it on YouTube or whatever other video servers we’re using, which you should subscribe to also, but give us a comment or a question under that. And then number three, go to Hiremyva.com for more information on our course and community and our White Glove service. Remember even without experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for, hire and thrive with virtual assistants. Larry and I have helped a lot of folks. We just had the discussion earlier today about a client. There are so many great things that we’re going to be able to help them to do, but we’d love to help you also. So just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
All right my friends! Do the world a favor, do yourself a favor. Go do something significant today. Stop chasing success, it’s going to run your life off a cliff as I like to say it. But God bless you, God keep you and God hold you. We’ll talk to you next time. See you later!

Dave Braun
Okay, Bye everybody.

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