Organize Yourself In 2015: Delegate and Eliminate

In his books on goal setting, Brian Tracy describes the time-honored tradition of prioritizing one’s tasks into three levels of priority, “A” tasks that must be done in a given time period, “B” tasks that should be done in a given time period if the “A” tasks are completed, and “C” tasks that can be done in a given time period if the “A” and “B” tasks are done.

But he takes this basic framework and expands it in two ways.   One, which is described in a previous post, is to take the “A” tasks and to take 20% of them and label them as “top priority”, or using the idiosyncratic language from the book title “Eat that Frog”, as one’s “frogs”.   These should be done as early in the day as possible.

In this post, I talk about the fifth and sixth chapters of his book, where he talks about two new priority levels, “D” and “E”.   Actually, it would be best to describe these categories as “low priority” levels.

1.  “D” is for delegate

If you are a project manager, it makes no sense for you to have to do all the project scheduling yourself.   You should have a project coordinator who handles the project documentation like the project schedule.   In a similar way, if you are in an organization and there are some tasks that can be delegated to someone else in your group or team, then label them with a “D” and don’t hesitate to delegate.

2.  “E” is for eliminate

Sometimes we do things on a regular basis which really add no value, but we do they because they are entertaining or simply out of habit.   I study 9 foreign languages a day with the language-learning app called “Duolingo”, which requires a total of about one hour a day.   Where do I come up with the time to do this?   Well, I did it by eliminating at least an hour’s worth of things I used to do but found that they don’t add value.

Here’s a list of things I have given up since I have discovered Brian Tracy’s books a few years ago:

  • Watching a lot of television programs
  • Reading the newspaper in the morning
  • Playing video games
  • Listening to the radio in the car while driving

For each of these activities, I found I was spending hours and hours on them and deriving very little value out of them.  So I ended up if not eliminating them entirely, greatly reducing them.   All of a sudden my day had a lot more time in it than it used to have for activities that add value to my life, like my language learning, or, incidentally, the half-hour to an hour I spend every day on this blog.

With this blog, the time I have spent has really given me a lot of return–I am close to a third of a million hits on my blog since I started it a little less than three years ago, from people in practically all the countries of the world.   So when people ask to I miss watching all the latest television programs or playing the latest video games, I can honestly say no because I know for a fact that I have gained a lot instead by giving them up.

And in your daily list, you should try to find 10% of the activities you do on a daily basis, which if eliminated, would either make no negative difference in your life, or which might even improve it by their absence.

By delegating and eliminating, you are reducing the “no value” areas of your time budget so that whatever is left is bound to be more valuable!

In the next post, I talk about how to identify the skills in “key result areas” and to show how you build time in your schedule to improve them!


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