How do I get out of feeling overwhelmed in my business?
Posted on 20th June 2022 at 17:02
It's not uncommon to sometimes (or more than sometimes) feel like things are getting away from you or that you just have far too much on your plate. This can be an incredibly negative thing; it can affect your business by leaving some things undone and the stress can be transfered to the people working with you.
The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to avoid feeling overwhelmed and get things on track, not all are easy for a lot of us! The first thing to do if you, the business owner, are feeling overwhelmed is to go through all of the things you do in your business and plot them out and rate them based on Teachability/High Skill and Strategic/Value added.
For example, if you are doing the social media posts then arguably this is easy to teach/relatively low skill and relatively low strategic value and should go in the bottom left box. By contrast, setting the vision and purpose of the business, for example, or strategic planning is something that pretty much only you can do and is high strategic value added.
If you do this exercise, you can then prioritise what things you should be getting off your plate and work out the best way to go about it – which could include teaching/delegating to someone else in the team, outsourcing (e.g. bookkeeping/VAT returns), automating or hiring to name a few. Clearly things with high teachability and low skill represent the ‘low hanging fruit’ and are a great place to start!
For more on prioritising your activities as the business owner there's a great discussion between Melanie Hawkett and Kevin Brent here if you want to have a listen.
Anyway, it sounds so simple but you may be surprised at how many people in a similar place to you have benefited from the process.
You should be of the mindset that it is ok not to be seen to be doing everything yourself and the habit you should create is to identify something each quarter that you are going to stop doing/delegate or manage your way out of. This could be a specific task or an entire function – but over time you should be actively removing yourself from day-to-day tasks and you can use the Teachability/Value idea to help you do that on a quarterly basis.
Over time your role as leader of the business should change as the business itself changes. Recognising this and defining the role that you want to play at the next stepping stone of the ScaleUp Journey is also part of this and will help you to decide which accountabilities you want to keep hold of, and which you don’t. We will revisit this in the ‘People’ chapter when we look at roles and accountabilities.
Some of us have a real problem delegating tasks for one reason or another. For some it's trust issues for some it's just that we think that we are the only person that can accomplish certain tasks.
In The Entreprenuerial ScaleUp System (ESUS), Kevin's new book, he goes into detail about 'delegating the things we are good at/think we are the best at' and 'delegating the things we are not good at/should not be doing.' It's all rather interesting and a good as well as useful read.
This month's ScaleUp Club is on Leadership. We will be discussing these things and similar issues around leadership. If you would like to join you can do so here.
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