At one point or another, every leader has felt like they’re working on too many things at once. You may be struggling to balance tasks that range from managing your team to overseeing projects and taking care of customers. If you’re working in a leadership position, then you know all too well that there is an endless list of responsibilities for you to keep up with. How can you maintain your work/life balance while keeping yourself sane? It’s not an easy task, but it is possible to increase your capacity as a leader — and we’ve got the tips that will help you do it.
Identify the strengths you have, and those that you need.
As a leader, it’s important to know what your strengths are. Strengths are natural abilities or traits that give you an advantage in specific situations. For instance, if you’re good at connecting with people, competitive and get things done by working hard—these are all examples of personal leadership strengths.
Once you identify your own strengths as a leader, take inventory of any gaps that exist between what is required from leaders today (e.g., effective communication skills) and where your current skill level lies (e.g., needs help communicating more effectively). Then make plans for addressing those gaps by either taking action on your own or finding someone who can coach/mentor/co-lead with them until they no longer feel like a weakness anymore!
Define your priorities and focus on them.
It’s important to know what you want to achieve, and also how much of what you want is realistic. You should prioritize the things that are most important to you, and focus on them.
You can’t do everything at once; therefore, it’s essential that you choose where your attention should be focused.
Your priorities will change over time as your circumstances change, so be prepared for those changes by staying flexible in your approach and focusing on what’s important now rather than worrying about what might happen later.
Ask for help.
The best leaders are able to ask for help. They don’t pretend they have all the answers, and they know how to ask smart questions that lead others toward solutions. They also know that asking for help doesn’t mean they’re not strong enough to carry their own weight. In fact, it’s often the opposite: asking for help is a sign of strength and self-awareness because it shows you understand your limits—and most importantly, it communicates your ability to delegate tasks appropriately so you can focus on what matters most at any given time.
Asking for help doesn’t just benefit your team; it benefits you as well. For example, if one of your direct reports has an idea about improving customer satisfaction metrics but isn’t sure how to implement his/her suggestions into existing processes (or even if those processes should be changed), then by all means offer guidance along with support! But if another direct report wants some extra training on using Excel in order to better analyze data related to sales performance metrics…well then maybe this isn’t actually something you’ll need assistance with after all!
It’s also important that we learn how best when exactly when we should seek out additional input from colleagues around us – both inside and outside our organization – as well as whether or not those colleagues would be able “speak” directly with those who might benefit most from those recommendations.”
Be a leader who is approachable.
Being a leader is about more than just taking charge. It’s also about being approachable, which means modeling behaviors and being accessible to your team members. Approachability allows you to build trust, rapport and relationships with others—all of which are crucial components of effective leadership.
To be an approachable leader:
- Be available when needed. Being available doesn’t mean you need to be at your desk 24/7; rather, it means responding promptly when someone needs you (or following up on something important) in a way that’s respectful of their time without making them feel as though they’re imposing on yours.
- Let go of control sometimes. Even if things are going smoothly or not all that urgent, let go of any desire for complete control over every element in your business or organization—and let other people take credit for their work alongside yours! This will create an atmosphere where everyone feels important enough to participate fully in projects instead of just following orders from above.”
Build a team of support around you.
Leaders are often expected to be strong and unflappable in their work. But this can lead to burnout and exhaustion, especially when your responsibilities are great.
Consider building a team of support around you. You may have colleagues who can help with your work tasks or other members on the team who are good listeners or offer advice on how to handle challenging situations. Your friends might be able to provide emotional support as well as practical help (such as looking after your children while you meet with clients). And there is usually someone outside the company whom you trust implicitly—a spouse, parent or close friend—who will always be there for advice when needed but won’t try to make decisions for you or tell what they think is best without knowing all of the facts first hand.
Keep your focus on what’s important.
No matter how successful you are, there’s always more to do and more to learn. But when it comes to leadership, sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities that we lose sight of what’s important.
There are things that aren’t important for you, but may be for other people:
What others think about your decisions
How others perceive your leadership style
What projects you choose over others
These things can often lead us astray from focusing on what’s truly important: our values and goals as a leader; where we want to take our organization; what we want our teams to be like in five years’ time.
Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
As a leader, saying no is a way of saying yes to yourself. You are in charge of prioritizing your time and energy; this means that you get to choose which tasks align with your priorities. Saying no to things that don’t fit with those priorities will help you be more effective in the long run.
Saying no also gives you the power over what’s not within your control—including outcomes, other people’s opinions, or external expectations—and allows you to focus on what is within it: yourself and what matters most for the growth of others in the organization or team.
You don’t need to go it alone!
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is trying to do everything themselves. They want to be the expert in every area, they want to be the one who makes all the decisions, and they think that by doing so they’ll become more successful.
The problem is that this way of thinking can lead you down a path toward burnout or overwhelm—or both! It’s easy for leaders who are working hard at home, work and community activities (like coaching your kids’ sports team) to feel like there’s never enough time for everything you’re expected to do by yourself. And if your goal is self-improvement through productivity and efficiency, it’s even more important for you not to try handling everything yourself!
At first glance it may seem like having others around you would take away from the value of leadership because it takes away from your control over things. But in reality those same people help keep us grounded while also making us better leaders because they provide support when we need help and provide an ear when we need someone else’s perspective on something where ours has failed us before now
You can increase your capacity as a leader by recognizing your strengths and weaknesses in order to grow as both a person and professional. You can also do this by being willing to take risks, learning from feedback from others, and finding good mentors who will help you succeed.