SCORE Experts Share Time Management, Delegating Tips
The local chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit organization and resource partner of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), led a live nine-minute webinar called “A Simple Process to Manage Your Time and Identify Which Items to Delegate” on August 19.
The interactive workshop was presented by two of SCORE’s volunteer business mentors, Laura Licursi, of Elite Virtual Assistants, and Lisa Crilley Mallis, of Impactive Strategies. The pair provided personal accounts of what inspired them to be proactive about time management and delegating tasks in their own professional lives.
Mallis shared, “I was always doing just ‘one more thing.’”
Unfortunately, she said, that mentality led her to miss out on countless moments with her family. She realized that she needed to find a way to balance her business and personal life.
Similarly, Licursi told of how she could “never finish working,” whether it was answering e-mails or doing social media duties. She realized that, while it was not easy, she wanted to find how to delegate certain items to others.
Focusing On The ‘Wow’
During the webinar, attendees were encouraged to be interactive with the hosts and participate in a variety of surveys and activities.
The first survey question asked why this webinar’s topic was important to them.
Of the four answers available to select, the results had 8.52% saying they have lost the joy of running their business, 15.77% saying they are tired of working nights and weekends, 35.96% saying they want more work balance, and 39.75% saying they want to grow their business more.
The presenters led an activity called “Now vs Wow” and asked for everyone to take a few minutes to write out their tasks and organize their workload into two categories.
The “Now” column would include tasks, projects, meetings, etc, that they are currently doing. The “Wow” column would list what they want or should be doing to be happy in their life and business, but do not have time for right now.
After that assignment, another survey was given, asking, “Are you living in your Wow moments?” Overwhelmingly, 85.61% said no and only 14.39% said yes.
“That’s why we’re here today. We want to get you to your Wow stage,” Licursi said.
The next activity, called the “Four D’s,” helped participants visualize what tasks they can be doing and what can be delegated to others.
The categories were: Do (The Zone of Genius), Delegate (Teach/Train/Process), Delete (What goal does this support?), and Define (What part of this is really mine?).
To determine which items fell into the Do (Zone of Genius) section, participants were asked to consider, “What am I doing that only I can do? What do I love doing? What makes me happy and brings joy to my life and/or business? What actions/tasks will grow my business?”
All the responsibilities that do not fall into the “Do” category could then be Delegated or Deleted.
For the option of deleting a task, they asked, “What am I doing that isn’t serving me or my business anymore?” and “What tasks am I doing that if taken away will not make any impact on my life or business?”
Mallis said, “So many times, we do things because we’re always done them.”
She encouraged everyone to track their work tasks for a week or two to really get an idea of what they can do themselves, delegate, or delete.
Licursi gave an example pertaining to blogs for a company. She explained that as the boss, you can write the actual text, but you can delegate the job of proofreading, finding an image, and posting it to someone else.
She encouraged everyone to make a decision that very day of at least one task they can delegate to someone else.
Mallis added that they are both firm believers in the importance of delegating tasks and that they want to open everyone’s eyes to the positive possibilities it can have for peoples’ businesses.
One of the aspects of running a business that many people attending the webinar brought up is concerns over the topic of financing.
Licursi explained how, for her company, her biggest fear was seeking help with the bookkeeping, but delegating the work now saves her two to three hours every week.
“There is always a way,” she assured. “Just because something seems hard doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Make sure to have a checks and balances system in place.”
Licursi added that she recommends delegating tasks that are reoccurring, versus a one-time task that will take longer to teach than to just do yourself.
An example of a reoccurring task would be to delegate e-mail and calendar organizing to someone else, because those responsibilities never go away.
“E-mail can be overwhelming,” Licursi said.
To help alleviate time and stress, the person you delegate these responsibilities to can make an e-mail folder of the items you need to review and weed out the unnecessary e-mails.
At the end of the session, Licursi and Mallis invited participants to send questions to them to answer live.
One of the first questions asked was, “How do you get unstuck from the overwhelming feeling that there is too much to be done?”
Mallis replied that what helps her is putting tasks on a piece of paper, so as to get everything out of her head and into a list format. Then she recommends sorting everything by importance to make decisions systematically.
Another attendee asked, “What if we can’t afford to hire someone to delegate to?”
Licursi answered that people can ask for family or a neighbor to pitch in temporarily. Another option is to reach out to local colleges to see if there are students looking for internship opportunities who can work for school credit.
“There is always a solution and someone who can help you,” she said.
For more information about SCORE and to find a local mentor, visit score.org/find-mentor.
Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.