Eliminate. Delegate. Automate.

In moving your business forward and trying to generate more time for yourself, you should apply the EDA approach to everything that you do. The way to apply it is to look at each task you do and ask yourself the following questions in the following order:

  • Is this something that is necessary in the business, or is there a way I can Eliminate it? This entails looking at everything through a different prism than the one you usually do, and reviewing the task and the value it brings from ground zero. It could mean anything from removing it completely because it is unnecessary, removing a part, or simply redesigning it. 
  • If you can’t get rid of the task, then ask yourself whether it can be done by somebody who is paid less than you consider the value of your time to be. If it is, it won’t be an immediate ‘fix’, but you should develop a plan with timelines included in it to Delegate.  If you can’t delegate it because the person doesn’t exist in your organization, then you should find someone you can hire who can, perhaps on a fractional basis. You should also consider whether you can outsource it, and there are a number of options here as laid out in the article Milk is Cheaper than a Cow.
  • Finally, you should look at the task and ask yourself whether this is something you can Automate. This is often a long-term approach, but with the rapid growth of technology, new solutions are emerging every month. You should keep an eye open for what’s out there and what you could figure out how to automate.

You can’t do this for everything you do in one go, and you should pick out the number you think you can handle and work on that many each month. When you do go through them, it is likely that very few of the solutions can happen immediately, but going through this exercise means that you can develop a plan to implement, even if this plan is over a period of months, weeks, or possibly years.

The whole point of this exercise is that you can’t fix what you don’t focus on. If you apply the EDA methodology to your business regularly, then you can identify what needs to change and develop a plan that will be very helpful in implementing that change and making both your role and the business as a whole that much more effective.