How leaders get time back to lead their team

If you’re like many leaders we talk to, you can find yourself being overly busy and bogged down in tasks that can actually hold you back from leading well.

We see this so often that we’ve given it a name: The Leadership Crazy Cycle.

This is when a leader is so task-saturated, they feel they don’t even have time to delegate, figure out what they should be doing, or even hire people who can take work off their plate.

Crazy, right?!

So what should you do?

One of the first things we encourage leaders to do is find time to create a Love It / Hate It list. This is one of the beginning steps to freeing yourself up from the Leadership Crazy Cycle and helping you delegate more effectively. Here are the steps to do that:

Step 1: Write down everything you do. This may take a week or month to get everything, but make a thorough list of it all.

Step 2: Divide your list into two columns: things you LOVE to do and things you HATE to do. Don’t think too hard on this… just put it under one of the columns.

Step 3: Look at everything in the HATE IT list and if it is something that only you can truly do (and no one else can do it, even if they were given great training and support), then move it over to the LOVE IT list.

Step 4: Look at everything in the LOVE IT list and if it is something that you really shouldn’t be doing because it is taking your time, focus, resources, etc. from more important things (no matter how much you love to do it), then move it to the HATE IT list.

Step 5: Look at the LOVE IT list and prioritize everything in that list from most important to least important. This will now help you to know where to put your energy and focus each day.

Step 6: Look at the HATE IT list and prioritize it starting with the first thing you need to delegate and get off your plate. Then begin properly delegating this to your team and setting them up for success so that they can own that task. Hint: You may have tasks that actually need to be delegated to a new position that you need to create and hire for. Don’t rule that out when looking to delegate.

Now, while these steps above are critical to helping you solve task saturation, it’s also super important to know where to focus your time when leading, once you begin to get out of the Leadership Crazy Cycle.

Here’s a simple, 6-step exercise that will help you focus your leadership.

Step 1: List out behaviors you feel make up a great leader.

Step 2: Narrow down your list to the top 10.

Step 3: List behaviors from most to least important.

Step 4: Write down how much time you spend on a daily basis with each behavior.

Step 5: Write down what you think is the ideal amount of time you need to spend on that behavior.

Step 6: For each behavior, write down the steps you need to take to improve that behavior, the objective of the behavior, who can help you improve it, and by when.

Take 30 minutes to do this exercise and find people around you who could help you stay accountable to these leadership behaviors. On top of that, encourage your leaders or other business owners to take time and do these steps as well!

Question: What leadership behavior do you need to focus on the most? Share below!

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