Manage Your Most Difficult Employee: Yourself
One of the most appealing parts of entrepreneur life is the ability to manage yourself and not be beholden to a boss. But new business owners quickly learn that managing yourself can be as difficult as any unruly employee. You’ve got a million things that want your attention, and no one you make sure that you’re attending to what really matters. How do you keep yourself on track?
If you have employees, trust them to do the work you’ve trained them to do. Micromanaging is a time-suck that any entrepreneur can fall for. We know how hard it is to give up the things you’ve always done, but the end result is always positive. Handing off responsibilities builds trust and mutual respect among your team. It also allows you to let go of the tasks you aren’t as good at, as this SCORE article suggests. After all, you can’t be the best at everything.
Pencil Yourself In
Sure, you put all your appointments and calls on your schedule. But it’s important to build time for the activities that aren’t so immediate. Decide how much time you want to spend on planning, ideating, and reviewing, and then actually put that time on the calendar. Don’t let it get interrupted! Though everyone has to put out fires, it’s just as important to prevent future fires with proactive thought. This example calendar from Business Insider has a great, albeit somewhat idealistic, sample schedule.
Hold Yourself Accountable
You give your employees reviews, so why not yourself? If you’re able to install an executive or advisory board, as this Parker Associates article suggests, they can help you self-manage through accountability. If you’re too small for that, give yourself regular reviews. Assess your progress, and ask those around you for honest feedback – it can only make you better.
With time, you’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses and become the most efficient version of yourself. Be your own favorite employee!