In this episode of The Samantha Leith Podcast we take a look at the Ditch It, Delegate It, Leverage It and Live It Matrix. How we can be more productive and less stressed. Taken from episodes 36-39 of The Samantha Leith Show.
Have you ever had the thought? How do they do it all. I know I have and I can tell you it’s not because they have a time machine to help them go back every day and add a few extra hours in. Welcome to Samantha Leith with me Samantha Leith. This month we’re gonna look at the tips, tricks, and tools they use to make magic happen with their time. Let’s go.
Time is our most precious resource. It’s limited. We can’t look into a crystal ball and know how many hours we have in this life and we can’t wait wand and make time stretch as far as we want it to. So why do we? And yes, I’ve been very bloody guilty of this. Why is it? We live lives in a constant state of doing with busyness being a badge of honor, it leads to burnout, depression, anxiety, masking our stress with things like drugs, alcohol, food, sex, and you know what? It generally leads to failure in one or more areas of our life.
Yeah, but keep doing it. Around and around we go on the hamster wheel. Doing, doing, doing, doing. Somewhere along the way, we forgot the human being that. So let’s find it again, shall we?
I first started speaking way back when with my digit delegated, leverage it and live it, keynote. Don’t say that when you’re drunk. By the way, this was when I was a systemization wizard and I was too scared to admit I wanted to be in the personal development space. Helping people organize their businesses and lives was my way of helping them feel that little bit better just wasn’t how I described it at the time. How did I know how to do it? Simple. I’d always done it. Stick with me. Way back in the beginning when I was at school, I was a machine up to 30 hours a week dancing and singing rehearsals, maintained an academic scholarship, had the best teen parties in the eastern suburbs.
I’d help my mum and dad with their businesses, which means I’d make a really good muffin and then I’d be performing probably at least one night a week. I didn’t stop when I left school either. Diary systems were my crack, full-time work during the day, great social life performing a few times a week. I was always tired, but I always kept going. I didn’t allow myself to stop for anything till I got sick, which yeah, you guessed it happened a few times a year. I’d be forced to just stop or take truckloads of medication, booze, food or drugs to keep going. I remember once taking sleeping pills in a recording studio during break times because I was so sick and I needed to rest, but I didn’t wanna miss a thing. Crazy coffee didn’t really work even though I started with a cup at 5:00 AM every school day while I did my homework.
Still drink it, but it’s truly because of the flavor and the ceremony of it does bugger all. I called my first business smart, not hard proprietary limited because in the back of my mind I thought if I said it enough, maybe I’d stop working so hard. I come from a family of hard workers. You see where days off, well, they almost show weakness and nothing could be further from the truth. People would always ask me, how do you do so much? I just did. Didn’t everyone? Couldn’t everybody? I’ll admit I was probably even silently judging people that didn’t do a lot. Now I know this doing was my part of proving I was meant to be here, that I was worthy and needed, that this almost obsessive behavior was another symptom of my undiagnosed ADHD. Filling my time with what I thought was optimal efficiency was my A type personality. Masking the complete chaos inside my mind.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR TIME?
The wheels fell off all of it during the pandemic. I no longer felt able to organize even the simplest of things, which is what led to my digging around and my diagnosis. Now, whilst you might not have ADHD, if I was to be a gambler, I’d be willing a bet money that you have had times you felt completely outta control, drowning in the way to to-do list and multitasking and obligations and utter those words. Finally, I had a couple more hours a day, so let’s find them. I know know they’re in there somewhere in the recesses of your mind. Trouble is we can’t find those extra moments where we get to be or get to choose something we’d prefer. If we don’t first take a look at what’s already happening with your time. Remember when I mentioned ditch it, you delegate it, leverage it and live it?
Well, it still works. I’ve just tweaked it so you get a lot more true living it, not work disguised as living it. You may be watching this soon. Don’t work or feel like you have a perfect time management system. Please don’t let that stop you during this work. I promise it’ll be worth it. Life is a full experience though. Remember the 50 50 rule, pleasure and pain, stress and relief. Time will lack thereof, fun and frivolity, love and laugh, delight, and magic, to name just a few. So I’ll ask you, yes, you, which ones would you rather experience and which ones are you mostly experiencing now? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I’m not one to usually say keep score and I sure a Sharpe would never get a gig as a scorekeeper in any sport, but it’s what you need to do right now with every single moment of your time.
Ah, Sam, don’t make me do a spreadsheet. Don’t panic. You can get it in the freebie section. I really, really want you to do this for a week and yes, at the end of the week you’ll probably be thinking, fuck, I spend a lot of time watching insert video type here, for me, it’s real estate and cooking by the way, I want you to note everything from running for half an hour to doing a social media post, doing the dishes or redesigning your business cards, to spending an hour on Pinterest, coming up with your dream kitchen. Ah, yes. Whatever it is, I want you to write down the time you spend on it, what the task was, and then ask yourself the following questions as you do.
- Does this make me time?
- Does this make me money?
- Does thiscost me time?
- Does this cost me money?
Okay, why the money question. Simple money is a tool we all need. Does it buy happiness? No, but it does buy you options and can buy you time. The last question is do I love it or do I loathe it? It’s like doing a Marie Condo with your time and asking that fabulous question, does it bring me joy? I just want you to say whether you love it or load it. Did you love it or loathe it? Remember, you don’t need to share this with anyone if you don’t. Well, if you don’t want to, this is for you to assess your time, not get another opinion. If I listen to everyone that questioned why I still make my daughter’s school lunch for example, I’d be miserable. I happen to love doing it. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than iron, but I have friends that use ironing like a less aerobic boxing class, taking out all of their frustration on on those perfect sleeve creases.
No judgment. You may love creating the [00:09:00] perfect spreadsheet to share with your team for your social media for the year, and then you may loa the spending time on Canva actually creating the posts. Some of you may love driving your kids to school of the loathe that and find it stressful. Perhaps you love meal planning and loathe even the idea of whatever’s in the fridge meal. I like doing a grocery shop unless I’m hungry and then it’s hell. I tell you, I don’t want you to miss any parts of this really like really nothing. Note it all down. If you don’t wanna do it on this track up, no problem. There are many apps out there that you can help me chart what you’re doing, but please, please, please, please, please make sure you note how you’re feeling about how you spent that portion of time. It’s so important. And before you say it, yes, I know doing this will take time and I said we were gonna find some, well, we are, but after this bit.
KEEPING UP WITH YOUR TIME
How did you go with keeping score of your time this week? Let me know and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you gotta go back, watch last week’s episode, do the work, then come back to this one. The first time I did this exercise with the client, she cried. It was there in black and white screaming up at her from the page. She spent on average over six hours a day doing things she loathed. No wonder she was at the point of wanting to give up her business and struggling in her personal life. I’ll give a little disclaimer here. If you think your life can be a hundred percent all the fabulous deliciousness of things you love, think again, life is 50 50 and not always in equal parts.
Sometimes it’s 90 10, like those moments where you have a mad deadline or an event that you have no control over. This is about creating space for more of the love stuff and the first way to do that is by ditching stuff. Very technical term there. I’m guessing you can see lots of time that you’ve wasted and probably some money too. If something is costing you money and costing you time, that’s stuff’s gotta go get rid of it. That is the king of ditched, baby. You do not want that stuff in your life at all and that’s the thing, it’s the stuff we waste our life on and so much of it’s ego based. Then there’s procrastination, fear of success, lack of systems, loss of control, failure to plan, inability to just be, and that’s only naming a few. We don’t wanna actually do what we should be doing at that time so we fill our time with stuff.
It’s like collecting notches on a bedhead. See how much I did? Come on, admit it. You run late to a meeting because you were laughing at random tiktos. Then you blamed the traffic when you simply didn’t wanna be at the the meeting because you ironically thought it would be a waste of time. Don’t get carried away now. You can’t just look at everything you wasted time or money on and get rid of it all. As I’ve said before, sometimes we simply gotta do some stuff, but there will be some things in there that you can get rid of, can’t click pretty quickly. If you don’t like Instagram but you think you need to be on it because everyone is. Go on ski, you don’t. If you wasted money on Uber, eats meals this week that you didn’t even like, delete the app. Go online and try a meal prep delivery company.
Sure, making the meals yourself will take some time, but it’ll save you money. Be better for you and who knows, cooking may soon go on the love it pile. You may wanna throw newsletter subscriptions, social media, television out straightaway. I’m cheering you of you do, but if you get some true relaxation, laughter or education for example from them, maybe it’s not about getting rid of them at all. Maybe it’s about being more selective with the time it takes. Remember, this is about creating time for you to do whatever with not about finding time for you to go back to being a doing machine. And no, I’m not ditching making school lunch. The next day is delegation. Hang on, Sam. Delegation is something only people in business do I call bull. It’s been said many times. Delegation is not a dirty word, it’s not even four letters.
Delegation is available to all of us in some form. Back to those lunches. I could delegate that to Elodie, but no, I delegate a couple of dinners a week to her list. A cleaner is a delegation and it’s one of the most freeing bestus. Yeah, I know it’s not a word. Uses of your money so far, your kids or partner will not remember how well you clean the stove top, but they will remember the conversations around the table, so make time for that.
In business, it might be letting go of the bookkeeping that you do just because you can within your family delegate the hell out of things like dishes, pet walking, et cetera, to other members of the family. You’ve all lived together. You’ve all gotta contribute and this may seem like a bonkers one, but I can’t stand online grocery shopping close or another matter. So I’ve done some meal planning or have a party coming up. I’ll do the basic list and delegate the actual going online to Kohls or Woolworths or Harris Farm, wherever it is, to order it, to someone else. Those sites suck me in like a vortex. The next thing, I’m randomly scrolling the 563 weekly specials going, I need that. No thanks. I can hear those thoughts rumbling in your minds like a hungry hippo tummy, but Sam, I can’t afford to delegate anything. Stop. Remember that bit about costing time or money and if you loved it or loathed it. Say you don’t like writing things and part of your job is wordy proposals. I love writing these scripts by the way, so it takes you twice as long as you think it will. You grim us with every word and afterwards you think the job you did was subpar.
Try someone out on five or Upwork with a simple writing task. It’ll be so much more cost effective than you think or look at some of the amazing AI that’s available online to help with writing. Even if it gives you an outline that you then need to flesh out, it’ll save you time and brain capacity and if you can spend that time doing something else, maybe you’ll even make money.
HOW TO DELEGATE?
Try someone out on five or Upwork with a simple writing task. It’ll be so much more cost effective than you think or look at some of the amazing AI that’s available online to help with writing. Even if it gives you an outline that you then need to flesh out, it’ll save you time and brain capacity and if you can spend that time doing something else, maybe you’ll even make money. Woo, what a win. Let me do a quick rundown on how to delegate. You know me, I love a good acronym. D is define the task. What is it exactly that you want and need them to do? E, establish a timeline when it’s finished is not a timeline. People. L liaise with the individual or the team. That means actually telling your partner that you’ve delegated the gardening to them, not assuming they’ll do it because you mentioned one night over dinner that you didn’t wanna do it anymore.
We’ve all done that by the way. E education and equipment. Remember those dinners I mentioned? El started doing this because I provided her with a meal subscription service. She was educated and given the equipment with every delivery and now she loves to cook. G give them responsibility. Always double checking. Every email your VA sends out is a waste of everybody’s time and will no doubt cause issues in the working relationship, so I don’t mean that. A agree on checkpoints and adjust if necessary, don’t go all upward and downward workplace assessment for everything, but yeah, have checkpoints and adjust. Checking their walk to the dog and realizing you need to move the expected time to before school would probably be in this category coz they’re tired after school. T take time for communication and support. Don’t delegate and run. Be there to support whomever in whatever they are doing for you.
Yep, that’s a good use of time. E again, evaluation for everyone. You might realize you actually want to keep booking all your travel arrangements for work. That’s okay. They might realize they don’t have the skills necessary or it could be something that doesn’t need to be done. Some quick homework for the week and no, you don’t need to submit it. I’d love it if you posted three things that you are gonna delegate this week on social media and tag me at Samantha Leith so I can go woo from the tagglers. All of this is reminded me that I really need to get into delegating, cleaning up my Dropbox. Oh my God, I’ve been avoiding it forever. Anyone wanna do it? Leverage, strange term really when I’ve been talking mainly about things in your personal rather than your business life or is it, have you ever really struggled to open a jar and then remembered you’ve got one of those contraptions in the bottom drawer that’s leverage.
Not really the type I’m meaning this context, although I really encourage you to buy one of those things, they’re brilliant. Leverage has many meanings. What I want you to think about in terms of all that stuff you do with your time is how you can use your power to influence a personal situation or use something to maximum advantage. What? What is she talking about otherwise known as making the most of what you’ve got. Generally we wanna leverage the stuff that wastes our time but does either actually make us money or could do cause we could do something else. These things creep into your time because maybe you fear success or you don’t have support or team and well, let’s just say failure to planners probably been common in most people’s lives. In the world of business, you may have products and services that could be leveraged or you could leverage the power of better software. Buying back the time it takes you to search for those customer notes in that pink folder from 2010.
One of the great things to come out of the pandemic is the very now common leveraging of software like Zoom for meetings instead of having to get our cars, get on public transport and go places, talk about leverage. Brilliant, yes, it’s got its downsides so I’m hoping we find a happy medium and I can get dressed up and go to things again. There are so many tools you can utilize for your leverage and yes, if you spend the next two hours on the app store or Googling about it, you need to put that on your sheet and be honest with those questions. Does this make me time? Does this make me money? Does this cost me time? Does this cost me money? Do I love it or loathe it?
Me, I love a good Google and can see half a day disappear, so I need to be really careful. Let’s have a look at something you could leverage at home, quick sticks, meal prep, follow some of those incredible people that make 50 dinners and three hours for inspo. You are already doing the work, so making some more and popping it in the freezer is a no-brainer and if you’re in business, batch the stuff you do for maximum efficiency. Record all your podcasts in one day, pre-book the team and do all of your videos in photos once a quarter, batch it be there. Maybe that could be Beyonce’s next song. Then there’s your network. There’s so much potential for leverage there and I don’t mean using people, but I know that if you are watching this video, you are not that type of person. Do you have a local group of friends and you can share pickups and drop-offs with the kids, et cetera, or maybe you could all harness your collective energy and create a workout group.
I’m sure there is. The last thing I wanna say about leverage is the thing that most of us are really uncomfortable with our skills, talents, achievements, and education. No, I can’t do or say anything that’ll make me sound too big for my boots. Yep, I can hear that cringe rising up on you. We’re taught to play small, stop, be proud of all you are in all you’ve done. Maybe your old school or university is opportunities you’ve never taken advantage of. Is there an award you can go for because of something you’ve achieved leading you to greater opportunity? That’s leverage. Shout that stuff from the rooftops my friends, and dig a little to see how it can help you. The final L word, good show by the way, live it. This is honestly my favorite bit and well, I could do a whole episode on it, but I’m saving the last week for guiding you and putting all of this together.
I used to say this is where things that made you money and time sat, whoopsy. Sorry folks. I’m adding. This is where you also put the stuff you love to do and maybe you’re also really good at. For me, when I get up on stage or behind a camera like this, I’m absolutely living it for me. When I’m on a zoom call with a client and I’m helping them through a problem, absolutely living it. That is the dream. They’re the golden moments. The nuggets where time, money, and passion all come together and that’s what we want in life. That’s the stuff we wanna be doing more of. Maybe networking would be in this category for you. A big one for me used to be planning. I was a gold medal winning planner, whereas for other people, planning was a complete waste of time, energy, and effort
It actually might have been in that loathe column and somebody else’s gotta do that stuff. Now, I know my planning was a wee bit unhealthy at times and was a procrastination tool in part, so although I love to do it, I don’t allow myself to get so far into it anymore. Living it, is when you are absolutely in your A game, you element. That’s where you get to Be extraordinary in your gut. You know what these things are right now. Pause the video and come up with three things that make you feel like you’re living it. A 1, 2, 3. It’s usually effortless. It’s when you’re in flow and I know flow’s been one of those words that’s been probably taken a little too far by some people over the years. I believe that flow is when you’re doing something and hours go past and you’re like, oh, what a bit of the day, huh? That’s brilliant.
You could be sitting at your computer and you are writing your book and before you know it, your three chapters in and it’s like, ah, people have gotta read this. I had no idea I was sitting here for five hours. Wow, I didn’t even pee. It’s freaking awesome. That’s flow. What about a party for me that is live it with a supersize L, whatever I, I get to plan the party, I get to make the food. I get to be in conversation with people whose company I enjoy and as I’ve said before, it’s like all the love languages rolled up in one, but that whole cleaning before and afterwards, I’m delegating that shot to the max. Your time is so valuable as is everyone’s don’t waste other people’s either. Oops, I could go off on a tangent there and I won’t do that cause that would be wrong, so look at where you’re spending it, where you are wasting it and those beautiful moments.
Your homework for today, yep. Been the workbook, is to ask yourself the following questions. Is there anything else I can get rid of completely? Who do I need on my team to be able to delegate more? What am I currently not leveraging? What do I really want to be doing more of with my time? No, it’s the last episode of the month. I could cry honestly, but my makeup had run. I get so emotional about being able to make the most of our time and I’m again not talking about making space to become a workaholic. It’s about making space full stop for you to do with what you want, what you want, not what someone else wants to stop feeling like you’re drowning, to stop feeling so overwhelmed that you’re at a complete standstill to stop feeling guilty about time, to stop hoping that someone will come up and give you that sash declaring your superwoman for all that you do.
It’s not gonna happen. Trust me, forget the super cape desires and live your life. You have nothing to prove to anyone, my friends. There’s not a list being drafted of everything you’ve ever done. That’ll be read off to you when you get to the pearly gates. crazy importance I had on all of that when I don’t actually believe in the pearly gates When we live a life on this wheel of doing more. Yes, we don’t have time to literally stop and smell the roses, but more importantly, we’re probably not able to discover what we really meant for or able to fill our hearts with what’s important to us. You might have heard the saying, nobody gets to their deathbed and wishes they worked more. It’s true nd the top five regrets of the Dying by Bronny Ware. Great book by the way. She lists these five.
Number one, I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Two, I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Three, I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Four, I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends and five, I wish that I’d let myself be happier. You gotta fix it. It’s totally up to you and it is never too late.
Hopefully now you’ve worked out some things that you can ditch it, delegate it, and leverage. If you haven’t, take some time to go back, watch the last three episodes and just do the work. All right. Now that you have some space, what happens with that space? Well, nine times outta 10, we just fill it. Your brain is coming up with a million things that you could be doing with all that glorious time.
It’s a jumble up there because your brain is not a filing cabinet, so we’ve gotta get all of that out. That’s where the brain dump comes in. I keep colored paper handy for this very purpose. Different colors for different buckets of my life, personal family, house, clients, business. Maybe I add a different one sometimes some days when I’m feeling really overwhelmed and everything’s being thrown at me, I’ll lay those pages out on the table and Natalie jot things down. Then I’ll leave the papers there for about 24 hours. I grimace about the mess on the table, but it’s worth it and go back and note something as it pops into my mind. Once it’s out of your brain, more needs to happen. These things won’t miraculously get done by themselves. Believe me, I’ve been stuck in that dream before. I work with a project management system called Trello, but there are many, many, many, many, many, many ways to do this.
Remember, the milk is an oldie, but a really goodie and a paper diary journal, whatever works for you. Take all that brain dump and work out where it needs to go, what needs to happen or who needs to do it. Add it all to Trello or whatever method you prefer. Then prioritize them. As you do this, you may realize that it doesn’t actually need to happen, so get that in the ditch it pile and off it goes. Where you can delegate to someone on your team, family, anyone personal staff, work stuff, whatever. We all know how much time we can lose doing something. Maybe your cleaner could do an extra hour and do all that pantry labeling you want done, but you don’t seem to find the time for. Maybe someone in your family could step up and do something and then offer goes from your list and onto their list.
Now, how that, do you do all the stuff you’ve left yourself with when you already have so much on? Don’t panic, breathe, you got this. Maybe use a paper diary, maybe an online one. The important thing is that you do well for me anyway, my neuro divergent brain needs the structure for others. It actually makes ’em feel quite ill, but for the purposes of this, it is my show after all, I’m gonna share my way. My calendar is split into buckets. Personal, life admin, business admin, clients, content education, Elodie, finance, marketing projects, social media, speaking, singing, friends, family, social. Has a lot of buckets and yes, it’s all color coded and because I’m me, I did add the hex codes for my branding into my Google calendar. I know I sound like a complete lunatic, but it means I like to look at it. Okay, and if you’re doing this for the first time, you must mark out personal time first. It’s so important. I’ll say it again. So important. For me, that’s my morning aims, meditation, masturbation, maciato, motivation and movement exercise, not the other kind, <laugh>.
Then it’s the magical afternoons and evenings that I have with Elodie where we chat about life in school and so much more. Then my heading to ooze land routine, anything social I have on and chill and do nothing time and now, yep, we get to start scheduling holidays again. That’s so exciting. Then it’s any regular appointments. These brows do not do themselves people. Then I fill inclined appointments and anything else already scheduled and we have like these days, for example, planned months in advance where you can feed in other calendars. Do I know all my daughter’s school tasks because they go straight into my calendar from her school. Honey, how’s your blah blah going? Might be a bit freaky, but it does work. Lastly, I had time slots for other categories for you. This may be every Thursday. You know you need to write a project update for all your clients, so put that in.
My slots are 45 minutes long and I do 15 minutes slots for social media. It’s what works for me. You make like bigger chunks or work with something like the Pomodoro technique. You do you again, this stuff is not magic. Just because you’ve got a time slot for life admin doesn’t mean that it’s actually gonna happen, so what do you actually need to do in that time that you’ve just allotted? That’s where the beginning hours of your week are so very important. For some of you, it may be something you wanna do daily or on a Sunday. Me on a Monday morning, girl, go back to that big list and take something that needs to get done and add it into a time slot created for that category. Say you have a study category, so what are you gonna really do in that time? Randomly read a book.
No, you will know that you are gonna complete the exercises from this week’s episode. See what I did there? Some people like having a whole day for a theme like finance, I tried that, didn’t work for me, but if that’s you, go for it. I’ll be cheering you on, but still actually list the things that need to get done in that time, not just marketing day. If you’ve been watching for a while, I also schedule my daily due goals and the steps I need to take towards any goal I’m working on. Remember no more than five at a time people. For more on that, go back to the freebie section or go back and watch November 21 or January 22 episodes. Don’t panic people. It’s your life and your calendar so you get to change it. There’ll be no judgment by the productivity fairies. I know this has been a lot, so I’ve done a screen recording of how I do this step by step and yep, you can grab it in the freebie section.
You may also be thinking this sounds like structured hell and for some of you it might not actually work, but it’s okay. There will be a method that works for you and I’ll try and learn some more techniques or get someone in to join me and help share what works for them. Trust me though, the structure actually gives you more freedom. It does. It allows you more space to live it. It helps to give you the capacity to be extraordinary and fingers crossed may mean you don’t have any more manic Mondays.
Now, don’t forget to head on over to samanthaleith.com/freebies to get any of the worksheets that I mentioned. Now you probably know many people that could do with a little extra help with their time, so do them a favor and share this episode, and if you tag me, I’m gonna encourage you on the journey. Till next time remember, you have exactly what it takes to be extraordinary.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. If you enjoy this episode and want to dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I would love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership design to guide and support you. For the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to samanthaleith.com/theclub for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.
Songwriters: Anthony Newley / Leslie Bricusse
© Tratore, Universal Music Publishing Group
Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen
Vocals by Samantha Leith