According to Mike Michalowicz, the author of Clock Works, there are four types of work that we do each day. The secret to a successful day is getting these four areas to an optimum level.
The Four Ds are: Doing, Deciding, Delegating and Designing
The optimum mix of these areas are 80% doing, 2% deciding, 8% delegating and 10 % designing. It stands to reason that 80% of our time should be “doing” – delivering our product or services to our clients. After all, without our clients, we really don’t have a business.
If our businesses are set up with systems and procedures AND have given our team permission, information and the confidence to make decisions themselves, then really should not be doing much deciding for our business. This is where a lot of business owners get hung up. We either think we are the only ones that can make important decisions for our business OR we don’t give our team enough information to make the decisions for themselves. Is there a physical or virtual line by your office door? I’ve experience this at my office door and it makes it hard for me to actually do my “doing”.
The Art of Delegating
Don’t make the mistake I did and called it delegating. Instead think of it as being decision making in disguise. Delegating is training your team member to do AND then letting them run with it. Give them guard rails to make decisions on their own. For example, if you have given someone the task of following up on your accounts receivable, give them a guard rail – call on our clients to collect, make payment arrangements if you think it’s a good idea, just keep things to 30 or 60 days. Then only have them report back to you if something is going to fall outside the guard rail. Trust that they have it.
Designing is another common topic in business development that you and I should be doing as the business owner. I don’t know about you, but I opened my business because I liked the “doing” part of my business. I love working on a QuickBooks file … getting it from a chaotic state to a well-organized file that brings clarity to my client. However, as I have grown the business, I have become much more of a manager than a bookkeeper. Now that I’ve promoted someone to manager, I find myself unsure of what I should do with my day. OH… yes, I should be doing development work. The problem with that is I’m much more comfortable reconciling a bank account than developing the business. Are you hiding in your “doing” rather than designing?
We took the time analysis a step further and had our bookkeeping department do the analysis. We have some work to do to get us to the ideal range. What about you? What is your range?