The Adaptive Agency Blog

Escape The Hamster Wheel In 1 Week

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Strategy

You know the hamster wheel routine: run forever, go nowhere.

It’s why we’re constantly working in our business rather than on our business. It’s a lot of zero-leverage and very low-leverage activities.

Good news: I’ve created a free, simple tool you can use to shine a light on what’s keeping you stuck.

The first 3 agents who contact me with this document filled out will get a 1-hour consultation about how to implement it.

Download The Tool Here

(Please share!)

Here’s how it works:


Record Your Activities.

Just for a week.

If you spent any time on it, write it down.

We’re not just looking to save time. We also want to save focus. Your brain can only handle so much task switching and reprioritizing before it gives up.

(That’s called “decision fatigue” and it’s why you feel wiped out even though nothing important got done.)


Record Time Spent.

Estimate how much time you spend on each activity per month. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Just close.

Not the goal: figure out how to save you 37 minutes and 12 seconds.

The goal: change what you’re focused on so you can play a higher-leverage game.

So please log everything.


Assess Leverage Created.

On a scale from 0 to 10, how much leverage did each activity create?

For example:

  • Stapling cover sheets to reports: 0.
  • Watching to see what time employees show up: 0
  • Getting stuff to the accountant: 2.
  • Prospecting: 2.
  • Scheduling review appointments: 2.
  • Holding review appointments: 5.
  • Holding VIP review appointments: 7.
  • Having a high-empathy 1:1 mentoring session with an employee: 9.
  • Taking a walk to clear your head before diving into strategic planning: 10.


Assign an Action.

This is only for lower-leverage activities.

Your 3 possible actions are:

Eliminate. This is the best option. Just stop doing it. Say “no.”

Every time you eliminate something, you scored a win. Your life got better.

This can feel scary, but whatever the low-leverage activity is has a high cost. How high? Equal to the value of the high-leverage activity you could have done instead.

Automate. If eliminating doesn’t work, find a way to reduce or eliminate the effort required.

You might be able to use an app. Or maybe develop a process or system.

Find some way to make it get done with minimum (or zero) effort.

Delegate. If eliminating and delegating don’t apply, it’s time to delegate.

You really have two options:

  • Give it to someone in your organization for whom it would be high-value work.
  • Outsource it.

Outsourcing is great because it doesn’t overload your employees, and because it often saves time and money.

But if it can’t be outsourced, give it to a team member.

And if it overloads them have them go through the Eliminate, Automate, Delegate process with their workload.

Imagine if everyone on your team was doing the highest value work they could do. How amazing would that be?

If you’re worried because it might not get done as well if you delegate, just remember you’ll be able to do work that produces more leverage. Let the low-leverage work get done less-well. It’s ok. They’ll learn.


Decide Your Plan.

Write how you’ll actually Eliminate, Automate, or Delegate each activity.

Then do it.

Sounds scary?

Start with one thing. Maybe some low-hanging fruit. Maybe your lowest-leverage activity.

Teach yourself to be comfortable with not doing it yourself, even if it gets done less well. (If you can’t do that, you are consigned to run in the hamster wheel forever.)


Ramp-Up Your High-Leverage Work.

Items with leverage of 7 and above are your new domain.

You want to live there.

And you want to optimize it over time. Eventually, you’ll delegate all the “7” stuff so you can work on 8 and above.

A year from now your business and your life will be way better.