Only Do What Only You Can Do

Castle Corporate Finance - Our window on the world.

The key to an efficient business is for everyone to work at (or close to) their limit of capability

“I need more hours in the day!” “I’m already at 100%” “I wish I could clone myself!”     

Do you recognise any of the above statements? You may even have said a few of them yourself.  And some believe that they are not effective UNLESS they are busy.

The traditional solution was ‘Time Management’.  We read the books, we go to the time management courses (or cancel because we don’t have the time), and we remain “Incredibly busy…”

But – busy doing what?  Let’s look at an example:

Chris is highly qualified, experienced and competent in his role.  He has six people in his team.  However, every day, he finds himself dragged into completing work at the level of his charges – work that is considerably below his own skill level.

Not only is Chris losing his company the difference in his pay and theirs, but he’s also wasting the opportunity cost that his own level of work affords. It doesn’t stop there. He is also denying his team members the opportunity to step up and do this work themselves, and all the development this provides.

There are barriers to solving this issue. However, such problems have solutions if there is a will to apply the remedy.


Using the acronym IDEAS, you can start to address your own efficiency and effectiveness – and that of the levels below you in your organisation.

I is to identify.  Review your workload.  Aim for 20% that COULD be subject to one of the following…

D is to delegate.  If you can’t trust your current team, then train and develop them (or forever be working at THEIR level).

E is to eradicate.  Is there anything that you could simply stop doing such as legacy or duplicated procedures?

A is to Automate.  If you identify a repetitive and/or predictable element, then isolate the process and automate it using technology – or decision trees for less experienced people to follow.

S is to subcontract.  Could you outsource small projects – or elements of your work that fall below, above beyond your own skill sets?

Imagine what you could achieve with 20% of your time given back to you.  Who knows, if you only do what only YOU can do, you could take the whole of Christmas off to spend with all those loved ones that really made this year bearable!

Famous French fashion designer and businesswoman, Coco Chanel, may have already worked all this out when she famously quipped “There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.”

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