Many of my clients come to me because they are too busy.
They are working too many hours.
They spend most of their time putting out fires and trying to keep up with everything.
They are having to say no to opportunities because there literally isn’t anymore time to do more work.
Their family members are mad at them for working too much.
They are tired, frustrated and demotivated because they can’t see a way to change it.
Before you can make a change it’s important to first recognize this simple truth.
Being too busy is the result of our choices, it’s not the cause of our problems.
It’s easy to think that being too busy is the problem, but it’s actually the symptom of the underlying causes that need to change. The good news? It’s fixable! The bad news? We are the only ones who can fix it. 😉
The first step to fixing it is understanding the top 3 reasons why business owners are too busy.
1) Saying yes more than you say no
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results. This also means that 80% of our efforts contribute to only 20% of our results.
In other words, we may be spending up to 80% of our time on things that don’t really matter. Ouch!
This happens when we default to saying yes to everything that comes our way. Yes to every new project. Every new client. Every new idea.
Every time we say yes to something there is less of us to go around. We end up making small progress in many areas, vs. measurable progress where it matters the most.
Greg McKeown summarizes this beautifully in his book Essentialism.
“Once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone [and everything], you can make your highest contirbution towards the things that really matter.”
2) Still seeing yourself as doer vs. leader
For the first 10 years of my business it was just me. I was a soloprenuer working 1-1 with my clients was able to handle all the work on my own. 2009 was the year that I shifted to a leveraged business model and began to focus on growth. It was the year my business officially became bigger than me and I quickly started to feel the pressure of getting it all done.
The simple truth was that there was more work to do, and I could no longer handle it all on my own. Something had to change, and it started with redefining my role.
All activities in business can be categorized into doing, managing or leading. The more time & energy you spend in doing, the less time you have for managing and leading.
Doing is a habit. If you are anything like I was, you are simply used to being the doer because you’ve done it for so long. You may take pride in the fact that you are a doer and can ‘get it all done’! If you continue to identify as the ‘doer’ you will always be too busy, for the simple fact that you won’t be willing to let it go.
3) Not building a strong foundation of team & systems
You’ve embraced your role as leader and are ready to let go of the doing – great! Next step is to bring in the right people to do the work and build a strong foundation of systems for everyone to work from.
It’s not rocket science to say that you need to hire a team – I’m sure you’ve heard it before! And yet many people struggle here when they don’t know who they need, where to find them and how to lead them to success.
Most of us aren’t naturals – finding, hiring and leading a team is a learned skill. If you are committed to getting out of the ‘too busy’ cycle you need to be willing to invest in your own leadership skills & development. You need to be willing to invest in hiring great people who can help you take your business to where you want to be.
If you are too busy I invite you to explore these 3 areas and let me know which of them you are going to work on next. I assure you that even small changes in any of these 3 areas can make a measurable difference.
Here’s to your freedom!