By Jill Scott, Manager of Member Services
How much time do you spend doing daily tasks?
Are those tasks things that other people in your company can do?
If you are spending time doing tasks that someone else can do, then you’re wasting time that you could be spending on things to truly grow your business. You’ve hired your staff members to do daily operations to keep the business running, so let them do the job your hired them to do. If you feel like they can’t complete an expense report, then you need to take a hard look at why. Is it because they’re not competent or you just won’t give up control? The answer to that question will give you an indication of some changes to make – within yourself or within your company.
Our friend and speaking colleague, Laura Stack – the Productivity Pro, sent this video in her weekly newsletter and it really struck a chord with me. It’s short and sweet, and well worth the 3 minutes and I’ll tell you why after.
The dreaded billable hour and how it applies to Home Care
Laura’s message hit home with me because I worked with attorneys for 10 years and initially struggled with convincing them to give up control of those non-billable tasks that they really shouldn’t be doing . Law firms are not in the business of paying their attorneys to do filing, expense reports, copying and faxing, or other tasks that their assistant is perfectly capable of doing. They are in the business of making clients happy while charging an hourly rate, and when it comes down to it, that’s what the attorneys are there for – to bill hours! Once I got my attorneys comfortable with handing off non-billable work, we were a well-oiled machine. Not only did we get our work done efficiently and make our clients happy, but the attorney’s time management was immediately improved, their billable hours went up by helping more clients, and their bosses were even happier.
Well, the same can be said for CEOs, COOs, and higher management of home care companies. You’re not getting paid to do mundane “non-billable” tasks…..your office staff is. So let them! Not only will this help them feel more appreciated and respected because you have confidence in them to do their job, but it will also free you up to do the things that only you can do. Networking in the community. Selling your company’s services. Analyzing current marketing strategies to determine what’s working and what’s not working and changes to make going forward. Those are the tasks that a CEO should be doing.
Now, I know some of you may just be starting out and don’t have the resources to delegate many of these tasks. If that’s the case, then I suggest that you set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour a day to do those tasks and get them out of the way so you can move on to more important things. Once that designated time is up, move on and make the things you didn’t get done your priority for the next day. Do them first thing in the morning or save them until the end of the day, but don’t meddle with them all day so you never get anything else done.
My Challenge for You: Delegate and Focus
I challenge you to take a serious look at your daily task list and determine what you can delegate. Delegate those things and see what happens. I know it may be hard to give up a little bit of that control, but I guarantee it will be worth it in the end because you will be able to focus on the tasks that will directly effect your bottom line. If the delegated tasks aren’t being done correctly, you will need to take a look at the instructions you gave and take a minute to teach the person how it needs to be done. If they still can’t get it right, then delegate it to someone else or hire someone who can do it they way you want it done. Change starts with you!
Let us know how delegating and focusing works out for you!