Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Keep a diary for a week of everything that you do at work and how long it takes. Either fill it out on the PC as each event/task happens to you or get a notebook and carry it around with you each day.

Enter the following:
  • What you did. 
  • How long it took. 
  • Whether it was something that A) drove the business toward a key goal, B) was merely urgent (ie, putting out a fire), or C) a waste of your time (either no one needed to be there, or you should have delegated it).

At the end of each day, sit down, look at each line and think, “Does this task need to be done by anyone, or is it just noise? Does it have to be done by me? If not, who else can/should do it?”

Add up the hours for the tasks that can be delegated, and that’s how much of your day you’ll get back when you delegate those tasks.

It’s amazing how many hours we waste each day doing tasks that are below our pay grade! I used to work with a VP that spent hours every week reviewing the company’s phone bills to see what we could get credit for from the phone company (errors, etc.). He saved us an average of $200 a month. But because of how much his time cost per hour, we were actually losing $1,200 - $1,500 per month in productivity. In other words, there were other tasks worthy of his pay grade that only he could do that he neglected because he was chasing pennies. (We later assigned a support rep to do that task, at a cost of less than $40/month.)

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