get things doneJust because I’ve discovered a new way to think about and organize my time (the One Bucket method) doesn’t automatically mean that it is easy to get things done. Then I heard a different business podcast list out these three words to help. Automate. Delegate. Concentrate.

First, automate. What things can I add into routines so they will get done regularly without extra thought? Are there emails that I send often or questions that I answer over and over that can become a basic template that is easy to then personalize and send? Can I set up auto payments rather than write out bills and find stamps? The more I can put onto auto-pilot, the more brain power I have left.

Second, delegate. Are there things on my list that others could do that would free me up to do those things that only I can do? I have to be the one to write the next book but I could hire a virtual assistant to help schedule social media updates and guest blog posts. I could recruit help with the household chores. After all, my kids need to learn the skills anyway and while it might take extra time now in order to train them, later that time would multiply back. And sometimes delegating can mean setting a task aside for a later, specific time such as preparing a week’s or month’s worth of meals in a single day. The more I can take off my plate today, the easier it will be to focus.

Then, concentrate. This is where I make an appointment with myself to accomplish a certain task, then settle down and focus (because multi-tasking has actually been shown to decrease productivity). I set a timer, block out distractions, and concentrate my brain power on the task at hand so I can get things done. This might mean batching similar tasks together—blog posts, emails, calls, bookkeeping—so I can knock them out faster while my brain is in that mode of thinking. Or it might mean reaching a certain word count. But concentration is also a mental muscle that needs training and recovery time. So when the timer goes off, I take a quick break, move around for a few minutes, then get back to doing that one-thing. (And every time I find my mind wandering, I think about that timer and buckle down for a few more minutes.)

So why would I care about organizing my life into a single bucket, automating, delegating, and concentrating? It is not so I can get more done at the end of the day and earn the bragging rights of being busier than you. (Nobody truly wins with that comparison!) No, all my strategizing serves only to keep me on the path to fulfilling the dream that God uniquely designed me for.

What about you? What dream are you pursuing? Is your life organized in a way that brings you closer to that goal? Is there anything you can automate or delegate that would free you up to concentrate later and get things done?

Automate, Delegate, and Concentrate To Get Things Done
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