A simple question to solve complex time management.

Time and resource management is a constant challenge in a small agency. Early on, I adopted one simple philosophy that I have clung to for the past 20+ years:

“Stop asking ‘How I can I get this done?'”
“Start asking ‘Who could do this for me?'”

It’s not complicated or even particularly insightful. However, it’s wildly hard to maintain. To some, it may sound like passing the buck, or a “not my job” perspective, but it’s really not. The truth of the matter is that each of us spend a surprising amount of time doing things that someone else could be doing. And, sometimes, they could do it better.

The moment you stop focusing on you, and start focusing on your team, you get down to a very small number of tasks that only you are qualified to do.

And then magic happens… You start doing only those things that nobody else on your team can do. You optimize your time and resources. Suddenly, you find yourself the most productive on your most valuable contribution to the whole.

More than 20 years ago, I ran a studio with 3 creatives. I soon discovered that the creative director was doing art director work. The art director was doing designer work and the designer was doing…. type changes. Poor resource management. We brought in interns. Lots of smart interns. Suddenly, each person was able to stop doing work that could be done by the person immediately below them, and we had a pipeline to keep pushing upwards. Eventually, the interns needed interns…. and so on. We were productive and content.

The perspective works for everyone. Take a moment and consider your day. Make a pie chart if you like charts. Buy a pie and visualize it, if that’s your thing. But start mentally isolating those things that could be done by someone else and imagine your day filling the whole pie with your unique ability.

“Stop asking ‘How I can I get this done?'”
“Start asking ‘Who could do this for me?'”


profile imageEric Berrios is responsible for client strategy and client relationship at Realm Advertising in Atlanta, GA. Since 2005, he has been driving business-to-business clients towards setting and achieving their goals and gaining a stronger sense of brand purpose.

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