A simple concept we teach all our EOS® clients is a tool called  “Delegate & Elevate.” Dan Sullivan calls it Elevating to Your Unique Ability. The context is that we should all focus on the activities through which we bring the most value to the business. Try this. Draw a box with four quadrants on a standard 8.5″x11″ piece of paper. In the top two boxes list all the tasks at which you are great and love and are good at and like to do. In the bottom two boxes list those tasks which you can do but don’t particularly like and those which you dislike and don’t do very well. Then, over time, focus on the top two quadrants and delegate the stuff in the bottom two quadrants to someone who loves those tasks.

But what happens when you’re so lean that you don’t have anyone to delegate to? This situation came up in a quarterly EOS® session I was facilitating for a client. Their management team is extremely lean, with minimal resources to hire outside help. They could only delegate to…each other. So we examined ways they could be more productive with their own time.

A simple idea one member of the leadership team used successfully to be more productive is called Work Reps. I suspect that there is some social scientist out there we should be giving credit to if only we knew who. Sorry – all we can do is tip our hats to you in absentee.

Work Reps

Work Reps is analogous to a workout routine using exercise machines. The idea with machines is that reps are an easy way to build strength and stamina. So too can it be with your work day.

  1. Prioritize your day. Tackle your top priorities first.
  2. Use a timer on your phone or reminders in your calendar to set up your Work Reps to the schedule below.
    50 minutes – work
    10 minutes – break (bio break, more coffee)
    50 minutes – work
    10 minutes – break (stretch, hydrate)
    50 minutes – work
    45 minutes – break (early lunch, quick walk)
  3. Repeat after your lunch break

Hydrating, stretching and movement are crucial during the breaks. Get up from your desk – no checking social media or your phone. Like a muscle, your brain tires from repeated stress. Our effectiveness diminishes over time. Taking intentional and strategic breaks help pace your day so you can be more productive. Periodic movement is key to refocusing your brain’s energy.

If you have no one to delegate to, use Work Reps to entrust yourself to deliver more effectively on all of your responsibilities.

Let me know how this works for you.


Image courtesy of Mike Merino

Next Steps:

Beyond the simple 4 Quadrant exercise I refer to in the post, if you want to explore your Unique Ability further, I recommend picking up a copy of Unique Ability – Creating the Life You Want by Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller (based on the concept by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach). You can find it here on Amazon.



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