Reduce Your Work Week and Be a Better Leader

2 Minutes Read

How many CEOs and business leaders can support the following statement? We work to live, not live to work.

Time and again, I see ambitious, driven people putting in 60, 70 or even more hours of work each week. When I see this happening, I always think: Something’s wrong here. If you have to work all the time just to keep your business going, then something isn’t right in the system.

When all you do is work, you become tired, fuzzy-headed, burned-out. You don’t think strategically. You’re so tactically oriented that you can’t see the forest for the trees. This is no way to run a business.

Ask yourself:

  • Could someone else be doing what I’m doing right now?
  • Would it be less expensive to hire someone else to do what I’m doing right now?
  • What other thing could I be doing that only I can do?
  • Is what I’m doing right now a way of avoiding doing something else with a much higher value?

Improve the situation

Here are steps you can take to reduce your burdensome work week:

  1. Hire people who are motivated to work hard and take on ever-greater responsibilities. Help them towards this goal by offering training and professional development opportunities. The objective is positioning these trusted individuals to take a vital role in helping your business grow – so you’re not doing everything yourself.
  2. Delegate everywhere you can. If you’ve hired the right people, you can relinquish operational tasks to IT, financing, human resources – whatever areas of the business that need attention, but not your personal attention.
  3. Authorize people to make decisions on their own. Yes, you believe it’s important to be involved in all facets of running your business. But hiring good people only to force them to run everything past you is pointless.  So much more gets done if your staff has the autonomy to make a decision in certain agreed-upon situations. It’s one less thing for you to worry about.
  4. Break tasks down into five categories: (1) important and urgent (2) important and no urgent (3) urgent but not important (4) busy work (5) wasted time. Focus your energies on (1) and (2) – at most! Delegate the rest to others.

Ideally, the job of a CEO should be between 20-30 hours a week. (Of course, there are exceptions – getting a start-up going, working on special projects, etc.) Sometimes a 50-hour week is necessary, but beyond that we’re into diminishing returns.

Members of Catapult Groups address key issues like delegation, time management and life/work balance. Learn more about how Catapult Groups can help you grow your business.

Brad Mishlove