For example: Jackie had enough clients to work part-time but she still found herself spending 40+ hours at her desk, working on her online business. When she complained to a friend, the other woman pointed out that Jackie was probably working on tasks with little or no return on investment – busy work.
The Four Zones of Activities
The book, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, introduces a helpful concept. The idea is the activities we engage in can be organized into four different zones.
- The Zone of Incompetence
- The Zone of Competence
- The Zone of Excellence
- The Zone of Genius
If you do something perfectly fine, but any number of other people could do it as well or better, you’re in the Zone of Competence. If you’re writing your eBook but you’re only an average writer, you’re in the Zone of Competence.
If we do something better than most and perhaps even get recognition for how well we do it, we’re in our Zone of Excellence. If you’re an award-winning web designer and you’re creating your own website, you’re in the Zone of Excellence.
If we do something that no one else can do quite like us, if it fills us with purpose and creativity, we’re in our Zone of Genius. If you are a highly-sought after speaker who’s energized by connecting with large crowds then you’re in the Zone of Genius when you’re speaking at a huge conference.
Connect the Zones with Your Time Tracker
Take this concept and go back over the time tracker you kept previously. Using a colored pen, identify the activities with an I, C, E or G. How much of your time is spent in the Zone of Incompetence?
Are You Stuck in the Zone of Incompetence?
If it’s a lot are you also feeling deeply unfulfilled? Your days are peppered with struggle and frustration as you tackle things you’re not very good at.
It’s natural and even good to have a little time spent there. We aren’t born knowing how to do things. Practice and experience can only come with time. This makes sense when we’re learning an instrument, a language, or new software that we need for our business.
Sometimes though, we force ourselves into the Zone of Incompetence for no good reason. The difficult learning curve takes more time than the resulting benefit will never justify. We’re better off outsourcing those tasks.
Do You Camp Out in the Zone of Competence?
What are you doing that sparks no enjoyment or creativity in you? Does it really belong on your plate? How can you minimize time on these activities? Could you outsource these tasks to someone who’s just as capable as you are?
Are You Existing in the Zone of Excellence?
What do you do that gets compliments? What comes easier to you than most people? What gifts are tapped into that make it so? This can be a clue to create more time in this zone.
Do You Play in the Zone of Genius?
Many people feel like they haven’t discovered what their Genius Zone looks like yet. That’s perfectly OK.
If you just focus on spending as much time in your Zone of Excellence and as little time in your Zones of Incompetence or Competence, your inner Genius gets a chance to show up and shine!
Create the time you need—learn how when you get your copy of the IVA Hustle Productivity and Time Planner!
Happy Holiday Hustlers!
Iolande V. Argent,
Your branding senior side hustle solutionspreneur
Follow me @tweetiva