The Invisible Workload

🤔 Invisible Workload: A Business Perspective

I saw a post recently talking about this idea of the ‘invisible workload’ – 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 parent I know you can relate!

What are we having for dinner? What gift should we get for the birthday party this weekend? Suzy needs a dentist appointment. What are we going to do for the summer holiday? I could go on.

And even if we have help in the household – a spouse, partner or kids – we are still the ones having to ASK family to do things. Sometimes more than once. (anyone else with pre-teens in the house?)

As I read this post it occurred to me – this happens in businesses as well!

What is the Invisble Workload?

The invisible workload refers to the tasks and responsibilities that are not visible on a to-do list or within a job description but still require a significant amount of time and energy.

Things like:

  • Thinking about what needs to be done – when, how and by who
  • 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 people 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 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. For business owners there will always be thinking & decision making to be done but it’s important to note that the invisible workload can start to show over time through exhaustion, frustration, or a lack of progress. As a business owner, it’s crucial to recognize when the invisible workload is becoming too much and take steps to address it.

invisible workload

📈 Scaling Your Business and Delegating the Invisible Workload

As your business grows, the invisible workload can become overwhelming, and it’s simply not sustainable to keep it all on your own shoulders. One option is to hire an Online Business Manager (OBM) to take some of the invisible workload off your plate. An OBM’s expertise is taking your vision and goals and turning them into actionable plans, getting the right people in place, and ensuring that the work is getting done correctly and on time.

The OBM can be a valuable asset to your business, especially if you’re in the early to mid-6-figure range. They will help you streamline your operations, improve communication and delegation, and provide accountability to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently.

🤝 Encouraging Ownership Among Your Team

Another way to address the invisible workload is to encourage ownership among your team. This involves working together to clarify their roles and expectations, empowering them to make decisions and take ownership of their responsibilities.

It’s essential to communicate clearly with your team and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to take ownership of their roles. This approach not only reduces your invisible workload but also fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among your team.

🧐 Simplifying Your Approach

Simplifying your approach can help. As a visionary, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to do too many things at once. This can lead to more thinking, decisions, and delegation.

It’s crucial to focus on the most critical tasks and prioritize them accordingly. Instead of trying to do multiple things at once, focus on doing one thing well. This approach not only reduces the invisible workload but also increases the likelihood of completing tasks efficiently and effectively.

🤔 Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the invisible workload can have a significant impact on your business and your overall well-being. By recognizing the signs of an overwhelming invisible workload and taking steps to address it, such as hiring an OBM, encouraging ownership among your team, and simplifying your approach, you can reduce stress, increase productivity, and achieve greater success in your business.

If your workload, invisible or otherwise, is feeling like too much, let’s connect.

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Kate Humpherys Coaching

Hi, I'm Kate!

I help overwhelmed, burnt out entrepreneurs to set up systems, habits and rituals so they can experience joy in their business again. 

Learn more about me and how I can help you here.

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