If you’re reading this blog post, you likely have lofty business resolutions in 2014 but a fixed amount of time to make them happen. A recent study from the University of Scranton states that just 8% of people actually accomplishtheir New Year’s Resolutions. You, like most Americans, have likely overcommitted. Statistically, you will more than likely fail. That is, unless you take drastic steps.

Want to know how to increase your chances of hitting your goals? While creating new habits, breaking old ones and educating oneself are all necessary, the simplest way to accomplish more is to delegate and automate.

Type A personalities may struggle with giving up the control required to successfully delegate tasks, However, the benefits include greater efficiency and less chances of necessary activities falling in the cracks.

Getting started

Write down your 2014 business goals. Next, list the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks required to make those things happen. Cross out all of those items that you absolutely must do yourself. For instance, if you are a salesperson, you cannot delegate your sales calls, so you would cross off those items. However, you can delegate hand-written notes (you can still sign them yourself), client prospecting research, social media influencer stalking research, expense reports, updating/uploading contacts and many other items. Looking for a new job? You can delegate research on your top five choices by creating a list of questions you’d like answered for each.

Now that you have a list of the items that you need taken care of, give them to your assistant or hire one using a service like Odesk.com where contractors charge as little as $2.44 per hour. Prices will vary based on where your contractor(s) are located, their level of experience, and the level of difficulty of your task(s). I’ve paid contractors under $10 for jobs and others well into the thousands for extremely complex projects. You’ll be surprised to find how economical it can be to outsource and delegate.

Additionally, you can delegate simple research. Need to fix something on your computer and don’t know how? I’ve posted jobs on Odesk where I offer five dollars for someone simply answering a question. Quora is another great place to get answers, especially if you need topic experts to weigh in.

The brilliance of this type of delegation is that you can extend it into your personal life in the event you need to free up a little more time to focus on business. I’ve delegated uploading pictures to my wedding website, collecting updated family contact information and much more! Need to spend an extra thirty minutes in the office per week to really hit the ball out of the park in 2014? Use a shopping service, or simply use a grocery list app likeOurGroceries that syncs with multiple devices and delegate the task to a family member or teen neighbor for a small fee.

The more you practice taking unnecessary items off your plate, the more you’ll be able to focus on those key tasks that will help you accomplish your 2014 goals.


This post first appeared on Personal Branding Blog.