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When I was first starting out, I felt as though I needed to be the answer man. Whenever people in my organization faced a challenge and would ask me questions, I would be thrilled to provide the answer. It made me feel competent, capable, and in control.

While it was great that I had the knowledge and experience needed to help my team, what I failed to realize was that I was hindering my productivity by answering their questions all day. I started to become too busy to take care of all of the tasks that I needed to get done. Instead of focusing on the big picture and getting results for my organization, I would scramble to find time to get things done between answering my team’s questions and providing them with guidance. 

I quickly realized that the only reason why I was feeling too busy throughout my day was, because I was allowing myself to dedicate too much time answering my team’s questions rather than enabling them to solve problems on their own.

How many times have you been unable to accomplish your daily goals or make the progress on a task because you were too busy?

If you run a business or are in any form of a leadership role for a company, it is normal to have a lot on your plate. However, if you constantly find yourself too busy to handle your daily responsibilities, you might be the one that is standing in your own way. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take to make yourself “less busy.”

Relinquish control

While it may feel good to have all the answers, it is not helpful for your organization if answering questions takes all of your time. Be okay with relinquishing control and allowing your team to handle tasks on its own.

Many times, the main reason why your team approaches you with questions is because you keep answering them! Make adjustments so that you no longer need to answer all of their questions all of the time.

Enable your team

If members of your team are always looking to you for answers, it might be because they are not confident in their ability to make decisions on their own. This is a problem for any organization that wants to grow.

Provide leadership training and take the time to help them learn how to come up with solutions and execute a plan on their own. Instead of handling every situation that they present to you, ask them questions that allow them to learn how to think through and find their own solution and lead by example.

When I wanted to empower my team to start making decisions on their own, I started asking them thought-provoking questions. I made a “three-question rule,” where I did not answer their questions until they answered three of mine. This helped them learn the process behind my decision-making and made them feel more confident in their own ideas and solutions. Before long, they were able to get more done in a day than ever before.

When you learn to give up control and encourage your team to be proactive in their decision making, you will see that both you and your team will be more productive.

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