You know how expensive and time-consuming it is to hire someone. It makes sense that you want to use the resources you already have for as long as possible. But is it counterintuitive? Failing to act when the time is right will cost you even more time, money, and energy. The truth is, you might have to expand your team’s skills and capacity to create real traction.
Don’t get stuck in a state of overwhelm that doesn’t allow you to grow at a healthy pace. Consider these strategies to figure out when you and your team are ready for greater capacity:
1. Get real about how you’re spending your time
With all the different roles you’re taking on, you may have completely lost track of where your hours are going each day. But does it really matter? You know you’re working all day and then some, so you must be getting things done. Right?
Without visibility, there’s a lot you may not be tracking, which is making everything more inefficient. Use a time-tracking tool like Zendesk® or go manual with a spreadsheet, so you can get honest with yourself about how you’re spending hours. Even after one day of analyzing your time-allocation habits, you’ll uncover where your energy is going (or being drained).
After a week or two, you’ll have even more valuable data. You’ll know, perhaps, why that big business goal you set is taking longer to reach than you’d hoped. You’ll see how long an unexpected challenge really takes to deal with and resolve.
2. Journal every day for five minutes
You have a ton on your plate, and taking on one more responsibility is probably the last thing you want to do right now. But leaders who take just five minutes at the end of the day to journal and reflect are more deliberate.
Why? Because, let’s face it, leading a company can be isolating. You don’t always have a confidant around you to comment on your habits or decision-making. You need space to reflect on what happened each day, and how you handled each situation, to get some distance from it.
Take five minutes at the end of each day to journal. What did today feel like? How do you feel about a conflict now versus while it was happening? What energized you or depleted your energy today? What about the day did you enjoy? Journaling helps you uncover everything from empathy to your procrastination tendencies to areas where you need some extra support.
3. Look for patterns and themes
Just a couple of weeks spent tracking your time and journaling will uncover a host of valuable insights about both you and your business. You just have to be willing to dig deep.
Look for themes that emerge in your entries and habits. Maybe you’ve been stressed after work every single day and didn’t get everything done like you planned. Look for patterns that tell you what may be causing stress or low productivity.
For instance, maybe you’ll discover that the days you spend in front of your computer screen building presentations make you feel depleted. But on the days you have face-to-face conversations with your teams, you’re energized and motivated.
This one insight could help you realize that you need to spend more of your time with your teams. You want to chase that energizing feeling – it’s probably what led you to do what you do in the first place! And that may mean you need a new staffing solution to take over tasks like creating presentations.
4. What can you take off your plate? Delegate it!
The steps we’ve covered thus far will start to push you to do something that’s really hard for many leaders – delegate. It’s too easy to stay in the mindset that you need to handle everything yourself. But it’s not sustainable for you or your company.
Identify areas where you could cut back or bring in other people. You hired your team for a reason. Start counting on them when you need them. And, most of all, be willing to let go.
5. Set goals, projects, and timelines for the next year
Now, all this digging deep shouldn’t stop with you. Turn to the business and get serious about what’s coming up. Create a roadmap of goals for the next year. What are the most important objectives? What should be a top priority? What measures will tell you your goals have been met?
Integrate all these key projects and timelines with your new commitment to stay proactive about your time. Be realistic based on what needs to happen for the business to keep growing while weighing everything you uncovered about your own habits. At this stage, it’s easier to see where investing in a staffing solution could be a game-changer. You can start to fill in gaps and free up much-needed space for yourself.
Easily create capacity with a flexible staffing solution
For leaders, answers don’t always come easy. But taking a step back and giving yourself just a little bit of time usually helps you uncover the root cause of a problem or learn how you can keep improving. You may be at the stage where you know you need help but you’re not sure how to get it without overextending yourself and others. An interim staffing solution may be the secret you’re looking for.
Hiring more flexible support like an interim chief of staff gives you that extra capacity you need while avoiding long-term commitments and pricey contracts. These experts take on tasks like project management, communications, operations, HR, strategic planning, and much more. They help you stay focused on creating the space your team needs to continue growing the business, serving your audience, and staying efficient.
vChief helps you assess your needs and uncover where all your time is going. We’ll provide a flexible solution to hiring to help you fill in gaps on your team. We support you with part-time executives, such as Chiefs of Staff, Chief Operating Officers, Associate Chiefs of Staff, and Executive Directors, whether you’re a startup, nonprofit, foundation, education organization, or a corporate enterprise. Get the assistance you need with no long-term contracts and access to experienced, high-performing professionals when you need them most.
Schedule your free consultation with vChief today.