Want to take this content with you on the go? Check out The Fighting Entrepreneur podcast episode here, and don’t forget to subscribe!
“Do you believe every day you do work that gives you energy or takes away energy?”
When my business coach asked me this question, I had no idea what to think or say. At first, I thought it was just some personal development fluff. But once he explained it to me, it made so much sense. See, I realized I'd been doing things that were taking energy AWAY from me rather than giving me more of it for way too long.
Most of that was due to my focus on money. If you know me, or have been following me for some time, you likely know that I got myself $1.7 in debt at the age of 27 due to several poor decisions. My parents mortgaged their home for me, I owed money to banks and one of my best friends even loaned me his entire life savings to help get me back on track.
Needless to say, I was a mess. I had fear. I was stressed. My health fell apart.
One of the most suppressing fears in life is the fear of not having enough money - it chokes out all creativity because all you can think about is how you’re going to make money and survive. So, at that time, money was all I could think about. There was no focusing on passion projects or the things I was good at. I had to make money any way that I could if I was ever going to pay back all the money I owed to people.
For a long time, I took on projects I didn’t love or care about at all. Looking back, work was a complete slog. I had to fight to get through each day.
So, when my coach explained it to me in the way that he did, my past struggles all of a sudden made so much sense to me. I’d spent years of my career working OUTSIDE of my zone of genius, and it was killing my business.
Zone Of Genius
Basically, your zone of genius consists of the work you do that sets you apart from everyone else. To find your zone of genius, think of what you do better than anyone else. For me, I do three things better than anyone else that I know:
I could literally spend the rest of my life doing just these three things, and I would be so happy because I enjoy doing them and am better than 99% of the people in the world at these three things.
When I told my coach that, his question was, “How much of that do you do right now?”
At that time, it wasn’t that much because we were in a growth period, and I thought that I had to give up some of the things that I love doing so that we could grow. A big part of that growth period was that I was bringing in copywriters so that they could replace the work that I was doing.
Unfortunately, there’s always a learning curve for new copywriters. Because of that, I ended up having to read copy, edit it and even rewrite it.
Delegating Tasks That TAKE AWAY Energy
To solve that problem, my coach suggested that I carve a day out of my week to focus just on copywriting since it’s something I love to do. I’d never thought of it like that before, but that idea completely changed the way that I look at, and structure, my week.
I started thinking more about what I was doing in my weeks that was taking energy AWAY from me and dragging me down. I know funnels, psychology, launches and copywriting better than anyone else, but anything operations or organization-related kills me. I hate doing it, so what I ended up doing was giving up my hand in those tasks and allowing my team members to own everything in the operations department. Giving those tasks up was a weight off of my shoulders.
So, what I want you to do is to make a list of everything that you do on a daily basis. Look at that list and ask yourself which tasks don’t have to be done by you. I bet AT LEAST 50% could be done by other people from your team or from a freelancer site like Upwork. The best productivity hack out there is to keep yourself in your zone of genius as much as possible.
Here’s how I do it.
How I Compartmentalize My Week
When I started looking at how I was spending my weeks, I realized that I was spending way too much time dealing with other people’s “emergencies”. I realized that people need a bit of structure built into their lives and that I needed to own my time and stop letting people use it to ft their needs.
So, now here’s how I structure my weeks:
Monday: Copywriting Day
Like I said, copywriting is one of the aspects of my business that I enjoy the most, so I make sure to carve out an entire day where I only focus on copywriting. On copywriting day, I don't take any meetings unless it's truly urgent (my assistant decides whether it's urgent) or if one of our copywriters needs feedback or has an important question to ask.
Aside from that, I'm holed up in my office writing, researching and thinking about ways we can improve. It's one of my favorite days.
Tuesday: Video Day
Along with copy, video is one of the most important elements of our business.
We film video for ads, internal training resources and courses that we create. A lot of these videos require either my presence or my input.
So, I devote my entire Tuesday to either shooting videos or providing input on videos. Just like on copywriting day, nobody is allowed to talk to me about anything unrelated to video unless it's truly an emergency.
Wednesday: Office Hours & Calls
Because I know people do have questions for me that they want to ask (that aren't necessarily emergencies), I open up my door to anyone in the office who wants to talk in the first half of Wednesday. Whether they want my input or advice, everyone in the office knows they're more than welcome to come in and talk to me during this time.
In the second half of the day, I open myself up for scheduled phone calls. Every call that I take on Wednesday is set to a maximum of 30 minutes with 15 minutes in between for rest or in case the call goes over what we expected.
Thursdays: Me Days
To make sure I don't neglect my own personal development, I set aside Thursdays to work on whatever the heck I feel like working on.
I allow myself the freedom to explore new topics I'm interested in, read a book, work on a course or whatever else I want to dedicate my time to. If I feel like giving it to people on the team, I give it to them.
The point is that everything I do on that day is MY choice, not anyone else's.
Fridays: Training & Other Businesses
The first half of Friday is when I focus on training my team members, while the second half is my time to work on anything else going on with other businesses that I'm involved in.
Most times, that second half is whatever I want since my other business interests don't always require my time or input.
Most burden and emergencies have disappeared now that I have structure built into my days and people know when they can reach me and when they can’t. Having that structure forces people to come up to their own solutions to the problems they’re facing, and most of the time they have that solution within them.
How Will You Structure Your Week?
So, I challenge you to segment your week and apply some discipline to your life. Stop feeding your ego by looking at yourself as the all-start that can do every single task in your business. I felt that same way for two long, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that it hindered the growth of my business.
Figure out where your zone of genius is, delegate tasks that are outside that zone of genius and apply some structure to your week. If you do that, you’ll see your productivity and happiness levels increase significantly.