How Much is Your Time Worth? 7 Steps for Figuring Out Which Tasks to Delegate

“Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should.”

This is one of my mantras and yes, there’s a backstory to it.

You see, I used to accept any work. And any client. And this is what happened…


All roads led to me and sure enough, I quickly burned out. My work indiscretion led to work dilution. Something had to change. Fast.

As founders and leaders, we must focus on activities that generate revenue and add value. Doing things like running errands during business hours, playing phone tag, and packaging gifts for clients rob us of our time.

Similarly, your operations may also be riddled with non-revenue generating and non-value-added activities.

Look at the chart below.

Whether you receive a salary, charge an hourly rate, or leverage value-based pricing, the above chart can be useful.

Although the company that created this chart no longer exists, the information is just as relevant today as it was when I first received it 16 years ago.

Two years later, I used it and the 80/20 rule to pare down my service offerings. The results were transformational.

Here’s what I did (and you should too):
  1. Search for your hourly rate, minus overhead (convert currency or interpolate for precision).
  2. Write each activity you perform onto separate index cards.
  3. Evaluate which activities are worth your hourly rate.
  4. Separate the revenue-generating activities from the non-revenue generating activities.
  5. Delegate non-revenue generating activities required for daily operations.
  6. Repeat steps #1-5 for each of your team members.
  7. Standardize and streamline as much of your and your team’s work as possible through process optimization.

Remember, can and should are two different words. The next time you start feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, “Would a customer pay me x to do this?”

If the answer is no, then delegate or eliminate!

Over time, instead of everything coming to you either to do or approve, you can delegate to your team.

That’s not only a better and smarter use of your time, but it’s also the foundation for scaling your operations.


This article originally appeared in Issue 2 of the Smooth Operator newsletter on LinkedIn, by Alicia Butler Pierre.

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