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Feeling overwhelmed in your operation? You’re not alone

November 2, 2022 -  By

If you haven’t noticed, most businesses are short-handed. Those working take on additional responsibilities to fill the gap, even where they are not properly trained to do so. Predictably, this situation often leads to frustration, stress, and rapid burnout. So what’s the answer? How can we help our people during these difficult times? There are some proven strategies you can employ. I’ll share a few of them briefly in this blog post.

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First, encourage your people to diligently create a plan for each day, even though their plan is likely to change as the day unfolds. The daily plan should identify those tasks to be accomplished no matter what (outside of a true emergency). Usually, a few things need to get done regardless of what the day brings. Flag these essential items.

After flagging the essential items, list out everything else to tackle. You may or may not be able to accomplish them, depending on how the day goes, but list them out anyway.

By separating the essential from the nonessential, a person is less likely to be overwhelmed by their desire to accomplish everything on the list. If they accomplished the essential items, the day was a success. Anything more than this is a bonus. Of course, they will deal with those items not accomplished another day, but not today.

Second, help your people understand that many things outside of their control may alter the plan they created. This is directly related to the first recommendation about creating a plan. The plan is followed until something changes the plan. And for many of us, the plan is rarely unchanged. In fact, you may never have a day that goes entirely to plan. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t begin with a plan.

If nothing else, having the essential items clearly identified will help your team determine priorities and make informed decisions as things come up.

The main point here is to recognize that changes to a daily plan will happen and to not be surprised or upset when they do. Roll with it, which leads me to the last recommendation of this blog post.

Third, help your people embrace their role as problem-solver. Instead of having a goal of accomplishing everything on your list for the day, help them to have a goal of making good decisions when situations arise. When your team anticipates situations, they can embrace this role as a problem-solver.

A problem-solver is more valuable to an organization than a task-doer. So my advice is to focus your attention on being a problem-solver. If you accomplish everything on your list for the day, that’s great.

But if you don’t because your problem-solving skills were needed, so be it. There is always tomorrow. Just don’t forget about those essential items that can’t wait until tomorrow.

Now go forth.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Blog, Expert Insights

About the Author:

Phil Harwood is a Senior Advisor with Tamarisk Business Advisors. Contact him at

1 Comment on "Feeling overwhelmed in your operation? You’re not alone"

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  1. Ted Baker says:

    Thanks for the advice Phil as a landscaper things can get stressful at times and I need to delegate more.