Do you find yourself overwhelmed by your everyday work only because you feel that you are doing everything alone? If this is true, then you are suffering from a doing it all yourself syndrome.
Before five years, I become a manager of a department in a larger organization in public services where I have worked then. For the first time, I have a team and responsibilities for the work that needs to be done not only from my side but also from my whole team. As I take the managerial position and make an analysis of the work and I come up to several things that will require to be done, I quickly found myself in the position in which I need to initiate bigger changes in the department especially because we have limited human and technical resources as is the case in most of the public administrations.
But, the real problem was that I have only two persons in the department that has knowledge and experience for the new improved working environment. Because of this reason, in most of the cases, I found myself in a position to stay in the office until late night to do the job that in these circumstances I was thinking that I can’t rely in full on my team.
That was the biggest mistake that I was made there. Fortunately, very quickly I have become aware of my own mistakes. This awareness and my own feeling that I am overwhelmed by my own work was the first signal that tells me that I need to do something and implement other changes in the department that I have managed.
After several months of the change implementation, the things become much better for me and for the whole department.
In this post, I want to share some of the steps that I have implemented to improve things for me ensuring at the same time that the results of the department will not suffer.
Every entrepreneur should try to implement the following steps to escape the syndrome of doing it all yourself.
1. Start with the right analysis of yourself
Yes, start with the right analysis of yourself as an entrepreneur and your everyday tasks that you accomplish. If you think that you suffer from doing it all yourself syndrome, then the best starting point is to analyze yourself.
Why you are doing everything in your business? Can you rely on other people and why you can or you can’t? What are your daily routines? What type of tasks you are doing every day? These questions and many more that you will find additionally will give you the real picture of yourself inside your own organization.
The purpose of this step for you is to become aware that you suffer, and your company also suffers because you are doing it all yourself. Additionally, this step will open your eyes to look into the future of yourself and your company and this will lead you to come with a vision that you will use in the next step.
2. Share your vision with all your team members.
Having a vision only for yourself will not help you to bring your small business one step ahead of everyone else on the market. You need to share your vision with your small business team because the vision achievement can’t rely only on you and your own work.
When I already have my vision for the future I start to organize meetings with my team where I shared my vision, my plans and explain to them where and how I look at them in that future. On such a short meeting, we have talked about our organizational and individual responsibilities and the rules of everyone on our journey to achieve the vision.
3. Ask your team to help you in achieving the vision.
When your team members will become aware of your vision for the future ask them to help you in achieving the vision. They will need to be prepared for their new responsibilities, and the best way to prepare them is to talk to them.
4. Make a commitment to change yourself, but also your team members.
You can’t do anything if you are not committed to implementing changes that you will need to implement because everything will start with you.
When you become really committed to change your role in your own company, then you can start building commitment inside your team members. You have already started this with the meetings you hold with them explaining your vision, their responsibilities, their proposals for the improvements and so on. But, your job in this step is to build ambition in each member of your team to change themselves.
5. Set up new standards and clearly defined goals for all team members.
Talking or writing is not the same as doing. Meetings and written plans are only the initiations, but in the end, if you want the results you will need actions.
If you really want the right actions from all team members, you will need to set up new standards and clear goals for everyone in your organization. After the meetings and plans, I have started to build paper-based forms in which I delegate tasks to my employees. That forms contained steps that they will need to implement if they want to do the delegated job in the best possible way, but also the date, and time when I give them the tasks and date and time when I expect to see the results from finishing a specific task in order to build larger responsibility in them. I have made different tests and tweaks of the forms in order to improve their usefulness in my efforts to make a change for myself and my team.
6. Start delegating tasks.
We can talk about everything, but without delegating tasks that previously only you have done to your employees, you can’t expect that you will escape from doing it all yourself syndrome.
Simply use the forms that represent newly defined standards of doing the everyday job and delegate as much as possible tasks that can be delegated. From time to time, you can simply ask them do they need a help or about their progress. If they need a help, then help them. The time you will invest in this process will free up a lot more time for you in the future. Because of that, look at this process not only as something that needs to be done on an everyday basis but also as your own investment for your own future and your company’s future.
7. Use technology to improve how the work is done.
When I come with the most appropriate forms for delegating and doing the everyday job, and especially because each form that I have used to delegate tasks also have standards and steps required for accomplishment of the task, simply I needed a more sophisticated way to measure and collect data from the whole process.
Because of that, I have designed really simple database in MS Access and it cut my time and the time of my employees from 30 days required previously for the same job to two to three days with the changes in the process and applied technology in the same process. It was a huge improvement for the whole department at that time.
8. Help your team members in their efforts to meet your expectations.
Always when they need a help to meet your own expectations, help them. That’s your responsibility. As I have mentioned earlier, this is an investment of your time in building the future for you and your small business.
As you can see, the process is not something very complicated, but the results from the implementations were really huge for me and my team. You need to remember that this process is your own investment to improve your own work and the work of your employees. If you succeed in this, your small business will be on the right way to achieve what you want to achieve.
Question: What are the biggest reasons why you have suffered from doing it all yourself syndrome?