Learn How To

RECLAIM CONTROL OF YOUR DAY

Learn how to

RECLAIM CONTROL OF YOUR DAY​

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Let's get real about

YOUR TIME

Picture your typical day at work. Think about what you do, who you interact with and the problems you encounter. You wear many hats and there’s a lot of pressure to be everything to everyone all the time. You’re going a mile a minute and the best word to describe you is busy.

But there’s a dangerous misconception out there about time management. Many people assume that being busy is being productive, and this simply isn’t true. In fact, busyness often keeps us from doing our most important work.

Let’s face it, we’re all busy. Does this automatically mean our actions are aligned with our goals? Of course not, but sometimes busyness can skew our perspective.

Again, consider your daily routine in relation to your goals. Are you focused on the right things to move the needle forward? Do you have enough time to get everything accomplished? Are you living the life you’ve always envisioned? If you’re like most entrepreneurs the answer is no, so let’s figure out what’s going on.

Problem #1

THE ENTREPRENEUR'S CURSE

A common pitfall entrepreneurs fall into is trying to do everything themselves. They want things done a certain way, completed as quickly and cheaply as possible, and so they go off and become their own best employee. Unfortunately, this is also how you get stuck in the daily grind of working in your business, rather than on it.

It’s a perpetual problem beginning with the justification of your actions. You take on the work because it’s important or it can be done faster yourself. But the more you do this, the more it affects your mindset.

Over time you convince yourself that nobody else can do the job as well as you. You begin withholding trust and responsibility from others. You keep the cards close to your chest because nobody understands your vision like you do. And before you know it, you’ve painted yourself into a corner, burnt out with nobody left to depend on.

The Solution

REGROUP, REFOCUS AND REBUILD

The good news is that anyone can overcome this problem, regardless of their situation. Even with no time and no team, you can win back the day with this 3-step strategy:

Step 1: Tap into your Self-Awareness

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, so let’s first identify the root of the problem. There are emotional triggers causing you to react this way. It could be the fear of failure, anxiety over deadlines, or even excitement for a new opportunity. If nothing comes to mind, consider what actions got you into this mess and then trace them back to how you were feeling at the time.

Now that you understand what’s setting you off, we need to reprogram your response – beginning with your mindset. Imagine a scenario and write down how you’d like to feel when these emotional triggers come up. For example, let’s say I’m worried that one my employees will lose a big client. I would want to feel relaxed, trusting and confident in their abilities. 
 
Next, determine what the appropriate response should be. In this case, training and goal-setting would be a great place to start. So instead taking work away from them, I can now focus my energy into developing their skills and empowering them to succeed.
 

With a new plan in place,  it’s just a matter of catching yourself in the act and building new positive habits.

Step 2: Journal Your Time

Time journaling is a powerful tool that can help you identify where your time is being wasted. Let’s take a snapshot of your day and determine which tasks can be delegated to somebody else. No need to buy a fancy journal, a pen and paper is all you need.
 
Begin by dividing your work day into 1-hour intervals. Next, record every task and interruption in real time as it happens. In other words, don’t wait until the end of the day to fill everything out because you’re bound to miss critical data. Bonus points for setting a timed hourly reminder on you phone.
 
Now it’s time to analyze the data. Review each task and highlight anything and everything that can and should be outsourced. Set your ego aside for a moment and be ruthless. It’s ok if you don’t have the right people with you now, color it up anyway. You’ll know you’re finished when you have at least half of your list staring back at you.

Step 3: Use Your Resources

Who can help you right now? You don’t need a perfect solution, just a starting point. Choose the most qualified person on your team to help you with easiest tasks and go from there. Even friends and family can be a viable solution to help you find your footing.
 
Another option is to go with a virtual assistant or freelancer. You can find some amazing help on sites like Fiverr or Upwork who can do the work faster and better than you. Why waste time learning Photoshop when you can pay somebody ten bucks for professional results? Welcome to the 21st century!
 
Understand that everything takes time to gain momentum. Cities aren’t built in a day and neither is your team. Can you do the job faster than somebody else? Most likely, but you can’t do a dozen of them at the same time, can you? Focus on small wins, work towards consistency and invest in your team now so you can reap the rewards later on.

Problem #2

BOTTLENECK LEADERSHIP

Every business has a bottleneck somewhere and it’s usually at a leadership level. It’s expected that employees will turn to their leader for help when they are unable to perform a task. Yet left unchecked, this can lead to congestion and hinder everyone’s ability to effectively do their job.

The steady flow of interruptions keeps you in a reactive state all day long as you field questions and solve problems. It’s overwhelming and stressful, especially when you fall behind in your own work. When this happens, you instinctively flip into catch up mode and shift your focus from the big picture to individual tasks. Unfortunately, there’s no relief when everything seems to funnel its way back to you.
 
Worst of all, when you stop, the business stops and the money stops.

But it doesn’t end there. Ill-equipped employees are bound to make mistakes, causing further confusion and frustration. Everyone has a breaking point and without corrective action, your team will disengage.

Some will move on to greener pastures while others will stick around and do the bare minimum to get by. Either way, your customers will find somebody new and you’ll be left behind, picking up the pieces.  The result: upset customers, lost sales and quite possibly, a tainted reputation.

The Solution

START WHEREVER IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOU

The tricky thing about bottleneck leadership is that the solution isn’t black and white. There are a lot of moving parts to your business and attention is likely required in more than one area. Here are a few tips to help you get started and moving in the right direction.

Get Comfortable with letting go

Entrepreneurs have a hard time letting go of things because they’re afraid of losing control. But the truth is that letting go is how you regain control!
 
Imagine you’re teaching a child how to ride a bike. You can talk about it, show them how and even hold on to the back of the seat. But when do they really learn? The second you let go! They might be wobbly at first and even fall over, but they’ll eventually figure it out on their own. More importantly, they’ll learn how to pick themselves up and trust their instincts.
 

It’s the same with your team. You have to get comfortable letting go of problems and let them figure it out on their own. It may be convenient and safe to give them the answers, but it’s also a disservice. In order to reclaim control of your day, you have to train your team how to solve problems, not avoid them.

share your vision

If you’ve ever assembled anything in your life, you’ll know there’s always a picture on the cover of the instruction manual. Why? Because it’s pretty darn helpful to know what the final product should look like! So doesn’t it also make sense to share the same information with your team?
 
Gone are the days of releasing information on a need-to-know basis. Today’s workforce seeks inclusion and community. They want to know how their contributions fit into the bigger picture, and only then are they willing and able to produce their best work.
 
When the company’s vision, mission and values are clearly understood, decisions become easy. Employees can rely on the organization’s culture as their guiding light and intuitively solve problems on their own. And since it’s no longer necessary for you to field every question, you can finally get back to your own work.
 
When leaders build teams around their vision instead of themselves, everybody wins. 

Review your training program

Bottleneck leadership is clear sign that your team has performance issues. After all, the reason why they’re coming to you for help is because they don’t have the skills, experience or confidence to do their jobIt can be frustrating, but remember that every problem is also an opportunity to identify the weakest link in your training program.
 
Do you have an orientation program in place to acclimatize new employees to your culture? Are you using job descriptions, training checklists and other resources to promote consistency? How do you set goals and benchmark their progress?
 
This isn’t about having the perfect training program, but instead improving it as time goes on. A self-reliant team means less mistakes, less confusion, and less disruptions.

Expand your team

If you still find yourself bogged down with other people’s work, another option is to expand your team. It may be time to hire another person, create a new position or even a new department.
 
Depending on your size, you may also need additional leadership to help you run your business. In my book “Clone Yourself,” I show you how to replicate yourself at a leadership level and make a smooth transitionWith another trusted leader at the helm, you’ll no longer be the bottleneck of your business and know that your team is in good hands.

Download the First 3 Chapters for FREE

Additional Resources

FOR THE WIN

All-Star Academy is just getting started, but here’s what’s available right now:

FREE VIDEOS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

YouTube is our home away from home. Discover the latest tips, strategies and resources to keep the momentum going.

LEARN HOW TO CLONE YOURSELF

What would you do with another you? Clone Yourself is the missing manual every entrepreneur needs to overcome bottleneck leadership, reclaim their freedom and build their dream team. 

Available in 3 formats: Kindle, paperback and audio.

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