24 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Increase Your Focus
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In today’s fast-paced world, time has become one of the most precious commodities we have. Unfortunately, it is one of the things that, no matter how hard we try, we can never make any more of.

The more stuff we attempt to cram into every moment, the more exhausted we get. For every “power nap“, meditation session and neck massage we schedule, we’re stressing our bodies beyond what they can handle.

Research shows that our stress levels are higher than ever before, and the correlation between stress and energy is long proven.

With only 168 hours in a week, many of us have task lists that quickly become insurmountable.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.

If you start focusing your time on things that energize you, rather than on the never-ending tasks that drain you, you’ll quickly find that you’re feeling more positive and upbeat.

The more you delegate, the more free time you’ll have, the more efficient your business will run, the more money you’ll make, and the less stress you’ll have.

Here are some ideas on what tasks you can delegate that will make you feel like a new person:

General Administrative Tasks

This is the category where it can go very wrong for most entrepreneurs. If you cannot keep up on your inbox and calendar, you’re starting every day with a deficit that you can never pull out of. Delegating these tasks first will give you an instant boost:

  • Filter & Manage Emails
  • Creates PowerPoint presentations
  • Manage your calendar

Current Client Tasks

When you think about how much effort it takes just to stay on top of emails that are coming in, think about adding to that pile intentionally by asking for testimonials or doing check-in calls with existing customers. That’s why many of us put off doing it, but unfortunately, we still have the guilt associated with ignoring it.

Delegate these to someone else, and you’ll feel loads better.

  • Make client check-in calls
  • Handle the majority of client issues or questions
  • Manage client testimonials

Leads & Prospects Tasks

Once you’ve got existing business under control, you’ll find that you may actually have time to start finding new business.

Delegate these tasks and you’ll have a continuing cycle of new clients and customers with no additional effort from you.

  • Follow up with all leads
  • Prequalify all prospects before consults
  • Handle all referrals and referral rewards

Team Tasks

Whether your team is internal or external, working with other people can be a chore. Offloading the following tasks will leave you much happier and organized.

  • Schedule team meetings
  • Recap entire team meeting and sends summary to all staff
  • Oversee completion of any delegated tasks with team members

Financial Tasks

I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this one, and the majority of business owners have said that they understand that financial responsibility is a necessity for a successful business. That said, it’s usually the first thing they prefer to offload when given the chance.

  • Client Billing & Payments (updating credit cards, etc.)
  • Pay bills and invoices
  • Create weekly and monthly financial reports

Social Media

Keeping up with client engagement on social media is a full-time job, and unless you are highly skilled and interested in this, it ends up distracting you from your “real” job. Get rid of it.

  • Manage Facebook Page (all posts and responses)
  • Post “shout-outs” for birthdays, special occasions, and achievements
  • Manage Instagram account

Data Aggregation

Unless you are a data scientist, this is a rabbit hole that is best left to someone else. You can spend days interpreting reports and gathering information – all of it very useful to a successful business, but better to have someone else do the work and give you the analysis.

  • Create & Interpret Surveys
  • Pull analytics reports
  • Create Dashboards


This is the category where you should put those little things that are specific to your business or life that you’re doing but really don’t need to be. For example, as a technology consultant, I personally do a lot of public speaking and writing, and offer referrals to people who help me close new contracts. All of those things cause me stress, therefore, offloading the management of all of these things is exceptionally helpful to me.

Put things in here that would be valuable to you.

  • Research local groups and potential places for lunch-and-learns
  • Research for articles and content
  • Manage referrals and commissions

Once you’ve gotten a handle on delegation, you’ll find yourself much happier and healthier.

Sep 22, 2017
How Everlywell's Julia Cheek Makes Big Decisions Quickly

When Julia Cheek founded Everlywell in June 2015, she was, by her own estimation, “perhaps the least qualified person to start a health care startup.” And yet, as her Austin-basedat-home lab testing companyapproaches its fifth anniversary, she finds herself overseeing a staff of about 100 people, providing home tests for allergies, food sensitivities, thyroid conditions, and, as of May 2020, Covid-19. The company raised $50 million in its last round of funding and was listed at No. 3 on the Inc. 5000 regional ranking for Texas this year.

In anInc. Real Talk: Business Rebootlivestream, Cheek, 36, spoke withInc. editor-at-large Tom Foster and took questions from viewers.Their conversation ranged fromhelping her team cope with quarantine to making big decisions. Here are some highlights.

Think Big and Think Fast

In May, Cheek and her board decided to give away $1 million to labs across the U.S.to help them develop a working test for Covid-19. For a startup still counting every dime, it wasn’t an easy check to write.However, Cheek saysthey made the decision quickly. “It took about an hour,” she says. “It was one of the fastest and easiest decisions made in the history of the company.”

She knew that funding those labs would speed up development of an at-hometest. She also had to make decisions internally to offset that cost while doing everything possible to maintain head count. That meant scaling back every discretionary dollar her team could find–Goodbye, office coffee!–in order to do the right thing and keepher team. “I wanted to protect as many jobs as possible,” she says.

“It was the right decisionmade at the right time,” she says now. A month later, she’s hiring.

Look Out for Your People

When asked how she deals with the challenges of running a companyfrom home (with a new baby) as well as whilewitnessing the protests in the streets, Cheek was quick to stress the importance ofmakingsure her colleagues are able to cope. “I worry like a mom about every one of our team members,” she says. That means asking herself how her team is doing all the time and asking herselfhow she can make their days better. Sometimes that means encouraging them to disconnect from Zoom or other digital platforms and take care of themselves. “Our primary focus is: What does every employee need for their mental health?” she says.

As for her own self care, she’sbeen developingwellness routines, including taking many meetings while walking and doing her best to separate her home workspace from the rest of her house.

The Funding Challenge

Cheek spoke at length about the difficulties she encountered while seeking funding as a female founder, despite the fact that she went to Harvard Business School and had a strong network.

“It was hard for me,” she says. “So you can imagine how hard it is for people of color, especiallywomen of color. I heard a lot of noes. What I learned is that it only takes one yes.” Among those yeseswas one on-air boost from Shark Tank‘s Lori Greiner, which doubled Everlywell’s sales overnight.

Ultimately, Cheek says, people needto talk about funding obstaclesopenly and honestly and encourage entrepreneursand investors to confront theirbiases. “It’s important that founders hear stories and become part of the solution,” she says.


Jun 4, 2020

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