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Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Being grateful for our health and happiness, the amazing people in our lives and our gifts and talents, is something we should do every day. But rolling 364 days worth of gratitude into one day – Thanksgiving – is fine too. When you consider that approach, it’s really not a mystery anymore why we need so many calories and rest J on Thanksgiving.

As we head toward the last month of 2015, and a short month at that, it’s important to focus in on what we want to make happen in the New Year. If you haven’t already set the tone/direction for your goals for 2016, now is the time to get after it.

The next few weeks on my blog, I’ll be researching posts on the top five most popular goals that I see on the lists of the entrepreneurs I work with in the outdoor active lifestyle markets. We’re going to start today with delegation.

Delegation is to an entrepreneur what sunlight is to plants. We can’t be at our maximum, visionary-level of creativity, we can’t grow or be productive without delegation.

Productivity is a key indicator of how we’re delegating. There are some days where we feel so on top of it, so dedicated and motivated that we seem to get an entire weeks’ worth of work done in less than a day. And then, there are other days where the work just seems to pile right up – and the stacks of our to-do lists get bigger…and bigger…and bigger.

So how do we build a mindset for continued productivity? How do we cultivate that productivity, so we don’t always feel behind on everything? Delegation.

We all have different support systems set up. Delegation is about process and systems that will enable you to actually focus on contributing what you do best to your business. That looks different for all of us too.

The first step to delegate (or improve your systems and processes), is to write down the top three things that you do to help your business. These three things must be things that only you can do as the founder. Next, write down what you’re actually doing. Then study the differences and figure out what you can delegate to a team member (full-time, contract or virtual assistant).

Once you’ve completed that, consider how you can set your team up for success in taking those tasks off of your plate. As you’re building this out, keep in mind that you want to create a replicable system and that will call for considering the task and how you want to see it done from start to finish.

Efficient types like to use tools like ScreenFlow (shoots a video of your desktop with your voice in the background), effectively shooting a video training of their own home screen with a voice over. This can be used again and again saves tons of time when training people on your team.

To do that, here are some tips to get you started on delegating YOUR time and leading by example for your team.

1) Prioritize –  As entrepreneurs, the sky’s the limit on our work schedule. So, more often than not, we tend to pull 10-, 12-, 14-hour days just to feel like we were able to get to everything. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – some days need to be 12 hours because we have crises come up or more client action than normal. However, on the regular ho-hum kind of days, we need to really start prioritizing what should come first. Is it an hour in the morning to get email all sorted? Taking 45 minutes to schedule out our social media posts? Responding to clients via phone call as soon as we start working? What tasks are most important for you and your business and when do those with higher priority need to happen? Start scheduling your day around high-priority and watch as everything else falls into place.

2) Productivity – When are you most productive? Is it the early morning? Afternoon? Evening? Making sure you take note of this is important for prioritizing your day, too. My most most creative hours are early in the morning – this is the time where I can really focus and tackle a lot of the items left over from the previous day with the largest amount of positive return. Maybe you find yourself being the most productive in the early afternoon or late evening? Start taking notes on when you feel the most alert, when you notice that time just flies and you’ve blown through big projects. This is when you schedule your ‘quiet’ hours and get the most bang-for-your-buck.

3) Place – Do you have a place that’s just yours? Do you work at your dining room table? Do you prefer going to the library? Where you work is another really important part of delegating out your time. I find that having a home office – where I can shut the door, get up and walk away, or sit and stay really focused – helps me get the most out of my productive hours and my prioritization. It’s hard to make important phone calls when you know that the house is going to be full of kids, kids’ friends, husband, barking dog. Being able to have a space where you can truly focus on what you’ve planned for the day helps your productivity sky-rocket.

Take a few minutes to answer these questions. Doing so will help you get your delegation going in a great new direction:

  • What is the easiest thing that you can delegate to someone else? What is the hardest?
  • What is the one thing that you can do for your company that no one else can do?
  • What is the one thing your clients love about working with you, personally?
  • If money weren’t an issue, what would be the first thing that you’d hire someone else for?
  • If you had only one day to get an entire weeks’ worth of ‘to-dos’ done, what would be the first thing you’d tackle

Let me know how it’s going – drop me a line at questions@livinguber.com. I’m VERY grateful that you’re part of my community and my blog readership, thank you so much for stopping in!