Take on High-Visibility Projects without Doubling Your Workload

Businessman juggling his office tools

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

~ Peter Drucker ~

Brian Asks:  I’ve positioned myself into a number of opportunities which can raise my visibility with my firm’s leaders, but now I’m in the position of having to execute on that work while also maintaining my pipeline of new projects and my actual day job. How do I best handle this type of situation?

Joel Answers:  As an executive coach and career coach, this question comes up often with my coaching clients. Following my advice, they seek out projects that will increase their visibility only to find that they suddenly have too much work to do! Don’t worry—the answer doesn’t involve working an extra 20 hours per week. Here are the three steps you should take to ensure that you can complete your highly visible projects without neglecting the rest of your work.

Step 1: Make the high-visibility projects your #1 priority. These are the projects that will lead to more and better opportunities in the organization. They are your keys to advancement and greater influence in the company. Put them first.

Step 2: Delegate as much as possible. Through careful delegation to your subordinates and team members, you can clear part of your workload while providing them with an increased sense of empowerment and responsibility. Don’t just dump a bunch of busy work on them. Give them real projects that they know are important. Some of them may be looking to advance to the next level as well, and they’ll jump at the chance to prove that they’re ready to handle your job once you get promoted.

Step 3: Prioritize what’s left. Once you have delegated as much as possible and blocked off the time you’ll need to complete your high-visibility projects, determine how much time you’ll have to do the rest of your work. Create a list of what’s left and prioritize it so that you’ll be able to see what you need to focus on.

You might also want to consider executive coaching to help you advance in your career. A coach can help you look at things from a different perspective so you can see exactly what steps you need to take to stand out, get noticed, and get ahead at work.

Find out how an executive coach can help you get ahead in your career by taking Joel’s free coaching assessments. You’ll get a personalized response with tips and suggestions specific to your situation.

Talkback: Have you had to balance your current responsibilities with additional projects that could get you noticed by company leaders? How did you do manage it? Leave your feedback in the comments, or ask a question for a future Q&A with Joel.

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2 Responses to Take on High-Visibility Projects without Doubling Your Workload

  1. Karin Hurt says:

    I have been on both sides of this fence…. as both the giver and receiver of such assignments. I think explaining to your team the additional projects that you are taking on … and the benefit to the overall corporate vision is vital… ensure you are also delegating in a way that is helpful developmentally to others. Done right, they can benefit from this experience as much as you.

  2. I think you bring up an important point, Karin. Communication is key. Letting your team know about your additional projects not only makes them feel like they’re in the loop regarding what’s going on in the company, but they can also help you delegate tasks. Your team members, who are eager for advancement opportunities, may actually suggest tasks they can handle for you that you may not have considered.

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