1. Activities that will speed up your cash flow – This includes A/R collection, invoicing on a timely basis, responding to inbound customer inquiries, processing and shipping orders and making it easy and convenient for customers to buy from you, to mention just a few.
2. Tasks that are already streamlined and documented – This is one of the keys to achieving both leverage and consistency in your business. If the process is standardized and generates consistent quality, assign the work to the doers and simply measure and track the results.
3. Tasks that involve government or other outside, often-changing regulations – You most likely don’t have the resources to keep up with regulations. Make sure to delegate or outsource to trained professionals whose job it is to be up to date on those kinds of things.
4. Anything that you want your team to master – You will never achieve lasting success in your business if your team does not master operational tasks. Mastery supports consistency and consistency of service and product quality is an ante into the game of business.
5. Tasks where you are the bottleneck – If everything goes through you, or if you are on the critical path to project completion, your organization can only work at your speed and capacity.
6. Areas that are beyond your skill-set or competence – Simply put, if you are not good at it, you shouldn’t be doing it. Focus on your strengths relying on complimentary skills and talents of your teammates.
7. Anything that you shouldn’t be doing – If you are tempted to do low-value tasks such as stuffing envelopes, shredding out of date documents, etc., you are keeping yourself from adding the most value you can to your business. Remember, all of us ultimately are compensated, and all businesses are rewarded for the value added, not for the time devoted.
8. Tasks that keep you from growing your business – The main responsibility of leadership, whether you actually own a company or simply take ownership of your responsibilities, is to lead, develop and grow your business.
9. Anything you hate to do – If you hate it, you certainly will not do it well over time.
10. Anything that requires specialized knowledge – You cannot possibly be an expert about every subject necessary to build a successful business. You can never go wrong delegating to others with specific domain expertise on an as-needed basis.