“It’s the little things that are important.” Have you ever been told that before? I have. To be completely honest, the way I understood it was totally wrong. The way I took it is that everything was important and had an equal amount of significance. Being naïve, I didn’t really grasp what was really being presented to me. What that saying really meant was, “The little things are important, just not as important as the big things.”
Many times when people try to master the day, they get bogged down in doing medial and mindless things. Unfortunately, I even find myself doing the mundane tasks that eat away at my productivity. If I’m not careful, I will get caught up in administrative duties. Before I realize it, over half the day will be gone and all I’ve accomplished is having a couple excel spreadsheets complete that provide little to no increase in production. And by the time I finish doing those duties, I am completely exhausted because those tasks are not in my zone of strength. I have to spend extra energy doing all that mundane busy work because it doesn’t come naturally to me.
I have capable employees to do this type of work, but me being a bit of a control freak, struggled relinquishing control of my busy work. I feared appearing as if I didn’t do very much. When I finally delegated my administrative burdens; I became much more productive. I had time to do the work I was good at and made the most impact.
If you are a leader of any kind, you aren’t paid for your administrative duties, nor are you paid to cut the grass, or answer the phones, or keep the books. You are paid to LEAD. At first it may not be a bad idea to do some of the work; so you can know how it’s to be done and how it can be done efficiently, but soon you need to start dropping those tasks from your to do list. Delegate them out or drop them all together if possible. There are only a handful of tasks with any job that will make you a standout. Those are what you should focus on and do MORE of. Anything else is just spinning your wheels. LABOR LESS, LEAD MORE.
Do you think a sales manager would care how neat his salesmen’s paperwork was if no one ever signed it? Do you think it would matter if a doctor had great phone skills, but was lousy at surgery? What about a racecar driver who had the cleanest vehicle on the track, but never won a race? It wouldn’t matter at all! What makes those people valuable is their ability to sell customers, transplant hearts, and win races. The rest is just busy work. If you are a “Jack of all Trades”, you will become a master of none.
Darren Hardy tells a story of when he was in real estate. He determined it was only three things that made him money; pitching a listing, negotiating a deal, and prospecting so he could do more of the first two. He knew all the putting out signs, open houses, realtor tours, website updating, and paperwork filing were all just work that would make him seem to be working, but really wasn’t accomplishing anything. He started wearing a stop watch to time how much he actually spent speaking with a prospecting buyer.
I’m not saying you need to go to that extreme unless you feel led to do so. What I am saying is not to spend MAJOR TIME DOING MINOR THINGS. The time you spend is valuable. Don’t waste it. Don’t major in the minors.