Do – Delegate – Delete

Do – Delegate – Delete

Anyone who has taken part in one of my workshops knows I talk about the 3 Ds. A productive person employs them consistently, and the 3 Ds allow them to effectively move toward their goals each day.

The powerful Ds are: Do, Delegate & Delete

When a new opportunity or request arises for you, see which of the 3 Ds make most sense.


These are things that you need and want to do. They help you get closer to your goals, are in inline with your values and commitments, and are important that YOU are the person to do them.

When a DO is identified, take action right away, or block time on the calendar when you will complete it.

Examples may be having a phone conversation with a potential client who left a voicemail for you, agreeing to speak at a local event, reviewing financial reports.


Items you identify to delegate are ones that you want to get done, but it is not the best use of your time to do it. You immediately delegate it to someone else on your team. They then take action or block time on their calendar to complete it.

Examples may include formatting a PowerPoint presentation for your upcoming talk, conducting research projects, sending emails to follow up on outstanding requests, sending one of your products to a local charity for their upcoming auction, scheduling appointments for you.


Items that you determine are not worth your time or the time of anyone else on your team, are deleted. They don’t help you reach your business goals and are not in line with your values or commitments. Theses can be as simple as deleting email newsletters you receive that you will not read immediately (you may want to unsubscribe if you never read them), not responding to a request for proposal when it doesn’t meet your specifications, or declining a golf invitation with a colleague.

The key piece of the 3 D process is to identify which category each new request/email/opportunity/idea fits into, and to act immediately. Think of your email inbox. If you were to do, delegate, or delete every day, your inbox would stay empty at the end of the day (or at least more manageable than it is now). With ideas, requests, responsibilities and opportunities coming from all directions, quickly putting each one into a bucket for immediate action is essential for forward movement in business.

For most, the DO and DELETE categories are fairly easy. If you don’t have employees or a virtual team to support you, the DELEGATE items can be more challenging. If you are currently struggling with not having anyone to pass your delegate items to, start making a list of the sort of things you want to delegate. Then find someone who can take those on. Hiring an intern or a part-time virtual assistant may be the perfect solution for you. Commit to bringing someone on to take care of your “delegate” items, and go about your day in the 3 Ds model.