In the digital entrepreneur space, I saw a post recently talking about this idea of the ‘invisible workload’. It is described as the weight of having to think about & plan everything. This is referred to as the invisible workload because even if you’re not the one doing everything, you might be the one THINKING about all the things and making all the decisions. If you’re a mom, I know you can relate to this whole story.
What are we having for dinner? What gift should we get for the birthday party this weekend? Suzy needs a dentist appointment. What will we do for [insert any holiday that comes up…]? I could go on.
And even if we have help in the household – a spouse, partner, or kids – we still have to ASK folks to do things. Sometimes more than once. (Does anyone else with teenagers in the house? I have a teen and a kindergarten child, so… talk about split brain!)
As I read this post, it occurred to me – this happens in businesses as well!
How much of what you ‘do’ each day falls into the invisible workload category? Things that aren’t obvious and can’t necessarily be checked off a to-do list. But that can take up a surprising amount of time & energy.
- Thinking about what needs to be done – when, how, and by who (let alone the process… don’t start with that just yet…)
- Delegating what needs to be done – we may not be doing the work but having to ‘pass it along’ to someone else still takes time
- Following up on tasks – checking in with folks re: “what is the status of this?” is work, in particular when things aren’t getting done or are falling behind
- Making decisions – be it big or small decisions, there is the energy required to think through everything so we can decide (and decision fatigue is a very real thing)
Now to some degree, the invisible workload is just part of the gig. Or ‘being a business owner’ for we all know that there will always be thinking & decision-making to be done.
But as your business grows you don’t have the capacity – or the desire! – to keep all of this invisible workload on your plate. And it can start to show over time through exhaustion, frustration, or a lack of progress as things sit waiting for your input & decisions. Now before you head down the Overwhelm Trail or take the Burn Out Bus…
Here are a few things you can do when you find the invisible workload is becoming too much:
- Hire an OBM to take some of the invisible workloads off your shoulders – once you hit the early to mid-6-figure range there is too much going on to keep it all on your own shoulders. An Online Business Manager’s expertise is taking your vision/goals and turning those into actionable plans. We do this by getting the right team members in place and ensuring that the work is getting done correctly. Not to mention, on time.
- Lead your team to take more ownership of their role – where is your team relying on you to make decisions or tell them what to do? Work together to clarify their role and layout expectations. These can be areas where they can take more ownership and make decisions on their own. This level of trust takes time to get there but you will feel the rewards when you get there.
- Look to simplify where possible – are you trying to do too many things at once? As a visionary, I can easily fall into the trap of “let’s do all these things and do them now!!” which of course means more thinking, decisions, and delegation. Instead of trying to do 3 things this month, what if you focused on doing only 1?
I’m curious – where/how do you feel the invisible workload is showing up in your business?
What would be possible if you had someone to take more of the invisible workload off your plate?
This is how I help get results for my clients. This is also what it means to work with a Certified OBM in your business. Not only as an OBM but as a person who believes in the efficiency of your tools. If your workload, invisible or otherwise, feels too much, let’s connect.
See you on the other side of the screen,
Cassandra Comeau is a web designer and systems/tech expert who supports digital entrepreneurs, course creators, and coaches. My focus is to help them create their online presence with a focus on sharing their story and services/products, all while making sure your tech tools and systems are supporting you on the journey. Since 2019, I have worked with several businesses through direct 1:1 work and through agency support to help them reach their dreams while creating more time for them to focus on their zone of genius and being able to ensure an opportunity to get offline to spend time with those they care about.
[…] (and the stress that comes with it) seems to have become the norm – some of that being the invisible workload that is harder to quantify. But even more than that – being busy has become an excuse for why […]