CEO Insider

Two-Step Guide to Work-Life Balance: Eliminate or Delegate

A few years ago one of my companies signed on a big client that I was really excited about. Even though I was very confident in the team I assigned to this business, I still insisted on being very hands-on in their management. I am always so committed to excellence and giving each client the upmost value.

After a while I started to recognize how much time I was spending on this project which made me feel stressed and less productive in other parts of my life. I took a step back and realized my involvement added a benefit while taking a big toll on the rest of me – and my business as a result. I realized that the best way to service my clients is to ensure I’m at my best.

And so I stepped back and delegated that client’s service entirely to my trustworthy team. The project was a huge success.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your personal or professional life – or the tension between the two – the solution is nearly always found in one of two steps: Either eliminate or delegate.

Let me explain.

The most effective and successful people in the world inherently know to spend the most possible time doing what they do best. Nearly everything else can either be skipped all together or outsourced to someone else who does it better – because that is their expertise.

Do you think Tom Hanks mows his own lawn, or Marissa Mayer changes the oil in her car? Please. They know that their time is better spent doing what they do best – or other activities that they enjoy and give meaning to their lives.

We all have unproductive habits. The key is to recognizing the thoughts and patterns that contribute to unproductive behavior, and then give yourself permission to change and focus on what is fun and meaningful.

For example, many professional women I know return to their families after long, successful days brokering big deals and running even bigger companies. And then after they tuck their kids into bed they spend an hour or two doing laundry. To ask these high-function executives why they do their family’s laundry, they are often taken aback – they never really thought about it.

And then they start to realize the back story: Maybe they’re simply repeating their own mothers’ models of domestic life, or maybe they feel guilty for working outside the home, and have a sense of duty and nurturing by matching socks and sorting whites and colors. But when they think critically about this chore, it becomes clear that it makes more sense to outsource laundry to a service or house cleaner, and use those evening hours to take a bath, connect with their partner or exercise.

While laundry definitely needs to be washed and folded, you likely waste many hours on tasks that do not to be done at all. A few years ago I realized how much time I spent reading and responding to every single email that flooded my inbox. It was part of that same commitment to thoroughness, a pride in being a hands-on leader in my businesses and industry.

But so many of those emails did not require a reply – much less being read at all. And so I came up with a way to completely eliminate hours upon hours of timesuck and only address the most important messages. No one noticed but me – and I am so much happier and productive for it.

I really appreciate you reading my post, here at CEOWORLD Magazine, but what do you think? Please share your views…


Eric Schiffer is a world-leading expert in Digital marketing as CEO of Digitalmarketing.com, providing his keen insights to Fortune 500 CEOs, foreign leaders, Forbes 400 billionaires, and celebrities.  He is the Chairman of ReputationManagementConsultants.com.

Eric is a true American entrepreneur having gone on to form 2 companies listed on INC Magazine’s ‘500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies’ and is a best-selling author with his book “Emotionally Charged Learning”.  Schiffer has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessInsider.com, FoxNews, SmallBizDaily.com, USA Today, The Wrap, Yahoo! TV, Cosmo Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and NOLA.com. Schiffer’s newest book called, “Build”, will be in bookstores later this Summer. He can be followed on Twitter @EricSchiffer or his website EricSchiffer.com.

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Featured Columnists at the CEOWORLD Magazine is a team of experts led by Camilla O'Donnell, James Reed, Amarendra Bhushan, and Amanda Millar. The CEOWORLD Magazine is the worlds leading business and technology magazine for CEOs (chief executives) and top-level management professionals.
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