Quick Tips for Managing Your Headspace As a Small Business CEO

small business owner decisions

The multitude of information and decisions small business owners deal with can be daunting and overwhelming.

 

Feeling drained by the endless amount of decisions on your plate?

For CEOs and founders, that struggle is real. Some people refer to this ‘decision fatigue’ and it can be a real productivity killer.

The sheer amount of inputs and information coming at CEOs and founders is remarkable. It can be daunting and overwhelming.

There’s a constant flood of decisions to be made, yet the struggle is often finding the proper headspace to be able to fully think through these decisions and act strategically.

Making matters even more challenging is that often only a few people in the company have full view into the entire gamut of actions and decisions the CEO has on their plate.

In my current role as Chief of Staff (an emerging role in tech that could lend itself to a whole other post!), I spend a majority of my time working in partnership with the CEO. Much of the focus is trying to compliment and, in some cases, be an extension of the CEO where needed.

It’s about helping them scale themselves as the company scales. So, as part of this we often discuss and evaluate top priorities to free up the CEO to focus his time and energy on the most impactful areas -- whether that be shaping the product vision and strategy, meeting with strategic customers, recruiting or connecting with potential investors.

With the constant prioritization (and reprioritization!) we try to reduce the volume of decisions weighing on the CEO. Let’s look at a few other ways to help manage decision fatigue…

Look at how your time is being spent and hire where you can

At early stage companies and small businesses, the CEO is often wearing many hats.

They might be doing product designs, writing marketing copy, exploring potential partnerships and more. While that’s great, it’s not sustainable. If you’re in a position to scale your team, evaluate where you’re spending large chunks of time and if this is better served by bringing on someone to focus in this area.

If marketing activities for releases or product launches engulf your schedule, then consider hiring a product marketer.

If you’re being inundated with interest from potential partners, but can’t action them, then it might be time for a business development resource.

Sure, it might be tough to step back from these areas, but reducing the context switching and cycles lets you spend more time where you can be most effective.

Next page- Lean on your leadership team and Build a “meeting free” day 

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About the author

Dan Nieves

Dan is Chief of Staff at Frame.io, a video review and collaboration platform for the creative community. Prior to Frame.io, Dan headed up Market Engagement at Zinc, an enterprise startup transforming how we communicate in today's mobile workplace. Before his time in startups, he spent four years at Deloitte as a strategy consultant where he helped clients transform their organizations through the use of digital technology. Dan graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Maryland. Born and raised in New York, he recently returned and is now residing in Manhattan. 

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