We spend a lot of time creating our to-do lists, color-coordinating our planners, creating sticky notes, and listing all that needs to be done.
Before jumping in, many of you prioritize this list to get the most important done first; however, have you ever stopped to think if you should be doing the task? You may assume that it should certainly be done if it came to you and made it to your priority list. What if you could finish the task without actually being the one to do it? Some of the functions that have taken your time have been completed when you maybe weren't the best one to complete the job. All tasks should enter the focus funnel before we touch the task. Read below how the focus funnel works developed by Rory Vaden.
Can I eliminate this?
Should I even be doing this? Is this a task that is worth doing, whether it be by myself or someone else?
Often, we complete tasks that shouldn't have ever had our attention or time in the first place. This includes our employees' time/attention as well. By saying yes to something, you are saying no to something else. This is known as opportunity cost. In business, it is easy to say yes to many things. Just because you can make something doesn't mean you should take it on. Knowing something doesn't mean you should spend time trying to teach it. This first step ensures you are saying yes to the right things.
Examples of things to eliminate:
- Offering ten different items but not specializing in a few niched items
- Redoing your branding each month
- Delivering items to your customers directly without charging a delivery fee
If it can't be eliminated, move the task further down the funnel.
Can I automate this?
Can a machine or a system handle this task before a human has to devote time to complete it? This can save you time and money tomorrow. Before hiring your first employee or brand rep, evaluate this step closely. Systems and processes allow us to scale without repeated human interface. Don't think about the time it takes you today to set up, but instead, about the time it will save you in the future. Completing these tasks creates a compounding interest in your time in the future.
Examples of things to automate:
- Away message for your Facebook page when messaged vs. responding with your business hours manually
- Scheduling Facebook posts vs. trying to remember to post each day on the fly
- Building a website to streamline the ordering process vs. invoicing
- Automated pick-up email sent with your address vs. emailing every customer each time you package
If it can't be automated, move the task further down the funnel.
Can I delegate this?
Is there someone else who can complete this task for me? As the business owner, you need to focus on tasks only you can do. Only you can go live to represent your brand. As a retail tee business owner, the majority of the rest of your tasks can be delegated. Time vs. money will come into play when deciding if you have the extra funds to pay someone else to complete the job or if you can afford the profit margin drop for wholesale. Don't be afraid to take some chances to delegate. Being freed up to be the visionary for your business can take your business places it has never been before. Delegation allows you to work ON your business while others work IN your business.
Examples of things to delegate:
- Creating content for your social media and tee parties (*cough cough*) vs. creating it for yourself
- Packaging items, can your child get involved by helping mommy pack and pick out a sticker?
- Dropshipping packages directly to your customers vs. waiting for the order to come to you and then paying to ship it back out
If someone else can't do the task, it falls to you; however, you need to decide if you will do it now or later?
Should I do this task now?
Get quiet, leave the phone in your bedroom, set a timer, and work on the task until completion. Time block and utilize batching your work strategies to see the task to completion.
Send the task back to the top of the funnel. Then, reevaluate the task through the funnel again. Eventually, the task will find one of the four categories above. Give yourself permission not to treat everything in your business as an emergency.
The focus funnel doesn't just rely on what is urgent and important but adds what is significant. What can I do right now that will improve my future the most?
My main focus is to “Turn Down The Hustle.” We aren’t doing tasks to just do them. We are choosing the tasks to complete, who should complete them, how they will be completed and when… wisely.
Tell me in the comments which step in the Focus Funnel that stuck out the most to you.
“Spend time on things today that create more time tomorrow.”
— Rory Vaden