6 Steps to Managing Your Overwhelming Workload
Monday, April 07, 2014
Posted by: Gabe Salcido
Let’s be clear, being a successful entrepreneur is hard work -- very
hard work. From learning new tasks to managing employees and planning
for future growth, there isn't a lot of time in the day to make huge
errors. That said, entrepreneurs can learn to work smarter, not harder.
Here are six tips that will help the overburdened entrepreneur sort through the endless tasks on her plate.
1. Get your priorities straight.
There will always be more work than you have time to complete. You aren’t going to get everything done. Accept it.
Tasks that are both urgent and important must rise to the top of the
to-do list. Keep in mind, pressing work tends to take priority over the
important tasks. Don't let this happen. Make sure you focus on both
2. Limit your time on tasks.
The law of diminishing
returns dictates that doing a certain task for an hour may be a good
investment but spending five hours doing the same task may be time
wasted. Make sure you do some tasks in limited quantities.
We have a colleague who each day spends only one hour on social
networking to promote his business. The reason? Often social networking
can be a time sink, and he wants to make sure he doesn't get sucked in.
3. Avoid perfectionism.
We’re not suggesting that
mediocrity is acceptable. However, continuing to work on something long
after the incremental effort stopped delivering value is not beneficial.
Further, it sucks up your time, keeping you from doing other tasks that
do create value. Keep in mind, great work is what we do for our
customers. Perfectionism is what we do for ourselves.
4. Exercise discipline.
As an entrepreneur, you
can’t afford to spend time doing things you enjoy at the expense of
mission-critical tasks. Make sure you remain focused on business-related
5. Outsource, outsource, outsource.
your skill set, many tasks should be outsourced. For example, we find
that if our computer network is on the fritz, it’s much more cost
effective to call a technician than to attempt the fix ourselves. He
does in 30 minutes what would take us three days (optimistically), time
we could be spent generating revenue.
If you will be the only employee for
years, this won’t work. You’ll need to use the tips above to find a
sustainable pace. However, you may be able to sprint for a short period
of time (say a few months) working at an unsustainable pace to get your
business over the hump. This can be successful, if it allows your
business to generate enough revenue so that you can take on employees.
Then you can delegate work to others and throttle back to a sustainable
Starting and successfully running a small business is a lot of work
but following the tips outlined above can help you manage the workload.
BY Doug and Polly White
March 28, 2014