No. This is not a post about how to gloriously quit your job (sorry!) – this is about how you do your job more efficiently to make the most of your time as well as build a stronger organization for it. Working yourself out of a job should be one of your top daily priorities and here are some tips on how to achieve it.
Identify the Repetitive Tasks
Many of the tasks that we do in our jobs are likely done with some level of repetition. Identifying these tasks allows us to see if there are more efficient ways to get the work done. Isolate your view of tasks that are generally executed by you and only you (i.e. not requiring assistance or intervention from someone else) and that are done generally the same way every time. For example – collating a report export from your CRM solution to input into your PSA system to build out a pipeline report that your Delivery team can review could be considered a repetitive task. Stepping back from the fast pace of your day-to-day job should allow to you pinpoint a number of these tasks. Once you’ve identified these tasks you can then decide how to make these repeatable processes more automated or delegated.
Leverage Your Solutions
In every organization that I’ve worked there has not been the full optimization of solutions to really drive some of those core processes that make the organization successful – and by that I mean there has always been an element of manual work where an automated solution could take its place. I implore you to review the repetitive tasks that you do each day or week and take a long hard look at the technical solutions you have in place today to see if/how you can automate some of these. It can be a scary thing to put your faith in a system to do a job that you’ve done well yourself but the more you can have your systems do for you, the more time it frees you up to focus your energy on the high-value tasks.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!
I wrote about the power of delegation in a recent post so I won’t get into it too much in this post however being able to effectively delegate has a two-fold impact. First – it frees you up to, again, focus on your high-value tasks and not have to be bogged down with more menial work that someone else can do. Second – it helps get your delegate(s) more experienced in the day-to-day of what it is you do so that when the time comes that someone needs to step in for you (one of the keys to a stress-free vacation), they can do so with minimal risk or business impact.
Working yourself out of a job should be one of your daily priorities. Not only does it help build a more efficient organization but it also sets the stage for stronger succession planning and depth of talent in your organization.