I’ve been managing my business for 7 years now. All these years I didn’t realize that I was working inside my business not working on my business. I was self-employed. Why? Because of a constant flow of requests from my team. I couldn’t do anything without being interrupted. I was dealing with routine tasks and almost completely ignored important stuff. Moreover, I grew so attached to my business that I couldn’t even imagine myself doing something else. I still have to conquer this feeling inside.
Part of my motivation to be available all the time was an idea that I have to be nearby to quickly solve upcoming problems. That worked, but not the way I wanted.
I indeed was fixing easy issues fast (answer a tough client’s question, fix minor site problems). But the thing is those were not real problems I had to be working on. Those were directed to me largely because it’s easier not to think and not to take on the responsibility. Simply because I accepted them.
What about serious projects? ‘We need to find new transportation company because our current fails to deliver on time.’ These queued in my enormous to-do lists and rarely ever seen sunlight.
The paradox is that when you refuse to deal with routine they (your staff) start to do it themselves. Often better than you would do. And real problems that require your attention are usually not so time sensitive. You start to see them instead. You start to fix them faster. Much faster. This is the paradox I see. You want to be there to fix things fast and end up doing that very slow.
Make yourself unavailable to instant requests from your staff and lots of issues will be taken care without your attention.