Just because summer is winding down, doesn’t mean your dreams of a vacation have to escape with it! You are at the heart of your business, and you set the tone for the rest of your team to create time and space to rejuvenate and re-charge. As entrepreneurial leaders, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the “rugged individualist” persona, because it’s true: we make stuff happen better than most. Unfortunately, this mindset comes at a cost to our personal lives, our health and our other aspirations. It’s important to be aware of this dynamic, lead by example and take some time off! It doesn’t have to be scary or painful if you commit to a bit of planning and prep prior to your departure from the office.
Below are 3 preparations you can make to ensure you and your team are able to easily unplug and unwind:
1. Setup basic automations to free up time long-term: Putting automations in place is an ongoing commitment that yields compounding ROI across the organization. Relying on tech to handle the most basic tasks within your business creates space that can be spent on higher value activities (and chilling out by the pool counts!). I estimate that at least 10% of every company’s time is spent on mindless work that technology can absorb. That equates to real dollars saved and energy better spent on key priorities to move the business forward-- or take more time off.
One of the rocks that I assign to my Leadership Team members each quarter is to identify at least 10% of their workload that can be delegated or automated off their plates. This commitment to unleveling our focus on work that only we do best has been a game changer. If you’re nervous about automations, start small with your lowest value work (think data entry and scheduling) to build trust and knowledge. Then begin to look at how you can use automations on a larger scale within existing processes (think billing or sales reporting). Check out a list of some of our favorite automations and how to use them here.
2. Remove the bottlenecks in your business: Nothing destroys a vacation quite like constant interruptions from your team. The unfortunate reality though is that sometimes we are the bottleneck that our business can’t afford. With processes, approvals and fires all running through us, no wonder our team can’t go a day without us! Bottlenecks are a growth killer because we are limited by our own capacity in a given day. Acknowledging that this is a challenge in our business is the first step; and attacking and removing them requires an ongoing commitment. Time spent getting this working will yield long term gains.
As a next step, try our quick 5 question diagnostic survey that is designed to help you swiftly identify which type of bottleneck is occurring in your business. The goal is to identify patterns and deploy solutions based on specific behaviors. You may fall into several categories and will receive email responses based on each type with corresponding solutions. It provides an objective perspective with easy to implement ideas to stop bottlenecking.
3. Set your team up for success in your absence. With automations in place, and bottlenecks cleared, you are well on your way to some serious downtime! The last piece to really being able to unplug is to ensure your team knows what to do when you’re gone, and there are many layers to this. First, establish what they should be working on while you’re gone. This can be handled through setting up quarterly rocks to keep everyone accountable and aligned on the most important work. For further clarity, try creating an Accountability Chart that outlines ownership of work and roles and responsibilities across the business.
What keeps things running once priorities and accountability are established is your process. Process is what allows you to truly step out, because you know that your vision is being executed well. Lack of process is chaos and is what holds us back from becoming a scalable company. To start, look at which processes repeat in your business and start to capture/ template them. If it’s a process you currently own a majority of the work for, the first pass should always come from you. Your team can follow the same rule. Once the first pass is done, share it with the other team members involved, as their take may be different. Collaboratively work to evolve the process to a place where you all feel good about the steps and who owns them.
Your ongoing commitment to perfecting “the boring” parts of your business is a long-term growth strategy. If you could use help deploying any or all of these strategies in your business, we’d love to help. Our years of expertise helps entrepreneurs get more out of their time- both personally and professionally! We’d love to help you keep your business moving forward while YOU enjoy your summer! Learn more here: DelegateSolutions.com.