Spend More Time on Profit Generating Tasks and Less on Administrative Tasks

November 17, 2010

Sometimes admin tasks tie us down and take energy away from the things we love to do -- the core business. Not doing admin work means not getting paid. After all, creating invoices  and chasing payments count as admin tasks. What we can do is evaluate the tasks we do and determine if we need them, delegate them or shorten them.

Looking at Tasks in a Different Way

It's easy to fall into the procrastination trap when doing something you don't like to do. Because of this, it can take longer to finish the task, which further delays working on the stuff you enjoy. What if you look at tasks in a different light, a positive one? For invoices, tell yourself that the sooner you submit the invoice, the faster you get paid. And when you get paid, it's money to grow your business, pay expenses and make payroll.

You can look at tasks as a challenge. Challenge yourself on how fast you get the task done or how many you do in a sitting.

Blogging is an admin task for us. We challenge ourselves to write two blog entries a week. Not only do we look at the task of blogging as a challenge, but also as a positive. It lets us share knowledge, give you support and connect with you.

Blogging helps businesses like ours earn trust and credibility by sharing our expertise at no cost to anyone. We also remember blogging keeps this website fresh and search engines love piping hot content.

Reviewing Admin Tasks

Think of all the tasks you do including regularly attended meetings. Put a note next to each task identifying whether it's an admin or profit generating task. Review all admin tasks and ask the following questions:

  1. What is the value of this task? Do I need it?
  2. How can I do the task faster?
  3. Should I delegate the task to someone else?

For the last one, you may have an employee who is closer to the task. It may be better to assign entering hours into the system to an administrator who manages time sheets, for example. What about outsourcing the task? Instead of spending hours tracking down unpaid invoices, outsource the work to a specialty lender that does that as its core business.

Yes, you'd have to pay someone else to do it -- but the company can do this faster and cheaper because it's their job. The time you save in outsourcing the non-core task gives you more time to focus on your profit-generating activities or growing the business.

Have you considered partnering with another company where you'd do some of their tasks that is in your core business and they'd do some of yours in your core business?

Making Time for Tasks

Do you let new email messages and the phone ringing stop what you're doing to answer them? Try setting aside time where you turn off email notifications and the phone ringer. Schedule admin tasks at the same time on a regular basis so it becomes a habit for you to ignore email and phones and focus on the tasks.

Some people find it helpful to spend the end of the day planning their next day's work so they know what to work on the minute they arrive in the office.

Think about when you're most productive. You may want to save that time for your core business and do the admin work during less productive times. Another idea is to do admin tasks first thing in the morning and get those out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of your day doing what you're passionate about. Imagine how the rest of your day will go when you've already finished your admin work early on.

What tips do you have for managing admin tasks?