Are You Overwhelmed?

I thought I’d answer these questions Michael Hyatt asked of himself about being overwhelmed and I encourage you to as well. My name is Erich Stauffer and my answers are below the questions.

1. Are you ready for a change?

2. What is it that only I can do? Where do I add the most value? What is really important as opposed to merely urgent?

3. What are your three biggest productivity sinkholes?

4. Record your most common activities and tasks into categorized lists and determine what can be eliminated, automated, or delegated.

5. What do you make an hour (inside and outside of your 8-5 job)? Could you be more financially productive (and a better steward of your time) if you delegated to a paid assistant or service? Have you ever considered a VA?

6. How much of your calendar this week is dedicated to high payoff activities/important tasks? Are you putting the big rocks in your metaphorical jar before putting in the sand and water?

1. Are you ready for a change? Yes

2. What is it that only I can do? Where do I add the most value? What is really important as opposed to merely urgent? In Internet Marketing, it is identifying niches. In Service Consulting I am the brand. At OMM, I have a unique perspective on art, design, and business process improvement. At home, I am the best candidate to be an earthly father example to my children.

3. What are your three biggest productivity sinkholes? Twitter promotion and cross-promotion, setting up new niches (instead of developing the existing), and news-browsing Reddit and other news aggregators.

4. Record your most common activities and tasks into categorized lists and determine what can be eliminated, automated, or delegated.

  • Sharing plans about the future with friends and family
  • Sharing news and my experiences with friends and family
  • Sharing ideas about business ideas and/or improvements to friends and family
  • Sharing things I have created with friends and family
  • Sharing things I heard from/about mutual friends and family with friends and family
  • Managing employees (hiring, delegating, reviewing progress, sharing information)
  • Communicating to customers with monthly updates, questions, or results
  • Gathering research related to a new or existing business
  • Processing customer requests (digital content creation or editing, service calls)
  • Ordering supplies and equipment for myself or my customers
  • Passively marketing or actively selling the business to potential customers

5. What do you make an hour (inside and outside of your 8-5 job)? Could you be more financially productive (and a better steward of your time) if you delegated to a paid assistant or service? Have you ever considered a VA?

I’ve considered one. I currently use my wife, but she is not able to handle some of the requests (for similar reasons as Michael’s wife), but I feel that at this time I don’t make enough to justify it – which is a separate problem involving focus, which is mostly what this thread is about.

6. How much of your calendar this week is dedicated to high payoff activities/important tasks? Are you putting the big rocks in your metaphorical jar before putting in the sand and water?

I would answer that I am not currently doing this and although I consider this a good idea, I have not yet categorized in my mind what ‘important’ tasks are let alone begun the task of scheduling them in advance – but I can tie it to a similar mantra used in personal finance – ‘pay yourself first’, which essentially says, ‘make sure the important thing about making money – saving some for yourself and God’ , happens before paying everyone else (bills).

If I were to guess at my important tasks, it would initially be to get work done on time, events scheduled with family and friends, recurring business tasks, and those business tasks that are directly tied to making money. The next step with that last one (which has to do with focus) is to determine what those are, do more of them, and less of the other tasks.

In summary, (here comes the Staufferization) it pays to spend some time to do a little staffing model on your life to allow you to run simulations on best-case scenarios for use of time in order to have more time with your family and a more successful business life. In the past I’ve spent up to a year identifying who I am (entrepreneur) and another year identifying what I want to do (publish) and now it’s time to identify what an entrepreneurial publisher does best with his time in order to be the most successful in his field.

I’m looking forward to your responses.

Comment (2)

  • Blake| November 20, 2011

    Very introspective. Particularly like the Dad priority.