Have you ever thought: If I could spend half as much time on half as many things, I would be twice as effective”? Like many of the entrepreneurial leaders we work with, the endless wheel-spinning of urgent but lower-value work distracts and disrupts their ability to focus on their single most valuable contribution to the company. The “I’m just too busy to grow” mindset and feeling of being surrounded by business clutter holds us back from making our ultimate contribution to the world . As leaders, we all have great intentions around our impact and time. There are many adjustments that we can make in our business and our behavior to move out of a reactive space and into proactive growth.
The definition of a good Buffer Day is a day focused in preparation for upcoming Focus Days. True “Buffer” Days are meant to be spent on delegations, putting out fires and working on the business so that when Focus Days come, we have the capabilities in place to truly focus. Without careful planning though, every day can quickly become a Buffer Day, ever creeping into our focus time.
Growth takes a backseat because the majority of time is spent cleaning up urgent messes rather than focusing generating new revenue. A friend of mine refers to this place in business as “Marshmallowland;” a place where time stands still and we operate in a chronic state of trying to move forward, but stuck in a sticky, grabby mess that keeps us immobilized and bouncing around endlessly in our business.
The ability to (1) dream up, (2) create and (3) execute new ideas is the calling of all entrepreneurial leaders. A healthy business operates and grows when the 3 legs of the tripod are in balance. As visionaries, we naturally and bravely bring the ideation, but typically struggle with the other legs: creating a plan for our ideas and committing to a plan fully to execute them. When the three are out of balance, a chronic start-stop dynamic grows between you and your team, and if not managed correctly can lead to team-wide burnout and a total lack of productivity and feelings of progress.
Not to be confused with the team-management app of the same name, Shyft is an iOS-only to-do tool that is all about the work/life balance. It maintains two separate task lists – one for professional items, one for personal – and you can use swipe or 3D Touch gestures to add, edit, complete or defer tasks.
Overcoming Delegation Hesitation
Using an assistant team of any type is generally a cause of anxiety for many, at least at the beginning. Most entrepreneurs recognize the need for a” behind the scenes” team, but are hesitant to use them to their full abilities. After all, you wouldn’t be where you are if you hadn’t put in the hard work and long hours.
It is challenging to then hand over tasks that are out of your viewpoint and trust they are completed to your satisfaction. But that is precisely the goal of delegation! Building the trust takes time and effort on both sides, but a successful relationship cannot exist without it. You don’t have to be a one-man army, effective delegation can increase productivity and stop you from overtaxing yourself.
If you’ve been following along with my email delegation goal this month, I’m happy to report that Georgia and I made it through our first week! We have developed a few simple strategies that are helping manage the flow of email that is coming in.If you remember, our goal is to get my inbox to serve only for external communication. We want all tasks and internal communication happening inside of our structured task management tool- Asana. I hope you can take what we are perfecting on our end, and implement it into your business to help remove the email noose from your neck!
Welcome September! This month to me represents the start of all things awesome: FALL, back to school, football, pumpkin spice lattes, hayrides... It’s a cherished time of year. My son, Nathan started second grade this week and we are all glad to be back on a regular schedule! Check out his back to school pic on the left.
We are starting with the basics this week! As an entrep, your time IS money. So entrepreneurs: it’s time to cut yourself a break. You don’t have to do it all to have it all. Trying to manage every last detail of your business ultimately leads to burn out- not so awesome when you’re the captain of the ship!