Message from the Chair
Steve Imke, Chapter 206
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Objectivity is needed to evaluate your own work

Are you guilty of “task discounting”? Task discounting is the phenomenon whereby people assign more value to near-term or simpler tasks than they do to future or more complex tasks, even if future tasks hold more value. Have you ever really stepped outside your business and challenged yourself to answer the question, “Why do the tasks I do?”

If you are like me, your workweek is made up of a huge basket of tasks. Some are easy and rewarding while others are not so easy, and far less rewarding. We enjoy doing the easy and rewarding work first, but such a practice will often lead to sub-par overall performance.

Every task we do is designed to achieve a certain outcome. Some work has a greater return to the company, while other work is necessary to complete more important, complex jobs. However, there are some things that we do for no reason, other than it makes us feel good. And then there are the tasks that are simply left over from a legacy process that no longer has any value. Take time to evaluate each task you routinely do, according to its merit.

As an entrepreneur, time is the most critical asset you have and you can’t afford to spend it on tasks that do not produce the best return to your business.

A successful entrepreneur must track typical tasks he performs and analyze each one to determine the cost/benefit to the business. This process often involves assigning an absolute value to a job that is hard to truly quantify. For example, what is the dollar value of doing market research at the library? However, without an understanding of a task’s value in the total scheme of things, one can’t make a decision regarding the contributing value of two different tasks.

If you didn’t know the value of a quarter (25 cents) as compared to one dollar, you very well might think that a transaction where you exchange one dollar for two quarters is a good trade. Doing two easy things is never better than doing one important thing.