Adopting a Fractional Mindset

To Make Your Workload Manageable

By Marilyn Weiss

In these inflationary times, companies are cutting operational costs, including their workforce budgets. In 2022, there were at least 154,000 layoffs from more than 1,000 tech companies and so far in 2023, the trend continues with 55,000 layoffs to date. ( &, Jan. 2023)

Not only is this devastating for employees that have been laid off, but it is also difficult for those who remain. Post layoffs, organizations become leaner and the scope of work for each employee gets stretched wider. Employees are asked to stabilize the organization and drive future growth with fewer resources. 

On the bright side, this increase in individual scope of work can create opportunities to gain new experiences and demonstrate leadership. However, the broader scope can also leave employees feeling overworked, stressed, and unable to manage the expanded workload.  When it feels like there is just too much work and not enough hours in the day to get it done, the best way to manage through it, is to adopt a “Fractional Mindset.” 

What is a Fractional Mindset? 

A fractional mindset is a new way of thinking. It’s breaking down a system into smaller fractional pieces.  When you are faced with a problem, adopting a fractional mindset makes the problem smaller.  A fractional mindset, when applied to your assigned workload, allows you to approach your role and responsibilities by dividing them up into smaller, fractional tasks. This gives you freedom to take a step back to strategize and prioritize the best way to complete them.   

Prioritize the Workload 

The first step requires some analysis. You will need to prioritize your list of tasks and/or objectives based on what will add the most value or make the most positive impact on the business. A best practice is to sort the completed list by those items that make the most positive impact on the business or drive business growth. 

Delegate the Workload 

The next step requires some self-reflection. You will need to consider which tasks/objectives YOU should personally complete and which ones are best to delegate to ANOTHER to complete for you. Ask yourself some questions to determine if YOU or a delegated resource under your direction is best: 

  • Which tasks require me to apply my specific business knowledge or leverage my internal relationships?   
  • Do my passion, skills and abilities make these best for me to complete? 

If the answer to these questions is, “No”, consider the possibility of others doing these tasks on your behalf, under your supervision. This allows you to manageably “stretch your bandwidth” across your workload, without becoming overwhelmed and stressed by trying to do it all yourself. 

Delegation Resources to Consider: 

  • Internal peers or direct reports: Can you divide your workload up among your team members?   
  • External Agencies: Can you assign agency partners to manage and execute stand-alone, finite projects or parts of projects, on your behalf? 
  • Fractional Staff: Can you hire temporary staff in the form of experienced specialists that have the skillset you need to step in and complete tasks that you don’t have the time, energy, or skillset for? 

The pros and cons of each resource are captured below:   

When to Utilize your Resources 

Internal peers or direct reports are a great option when the team has capacity to take on your assigned workload. If your teammates do not have capacity, delegating to your external agency partners to manage finite projects is a great option.

Sometimes, however, you just need to essentially “clone yourself” or bring in an expert with a skillset that differs from your own. In these instances, you can bring in fractional professionals that, with a little onboarding, can hit the ground running. Delegating to your fractional resources can help you work through your increased workload and objectives in a manageable way. 

How SIVO can Help 

For insights teams, SIVO offers full-service custom research design, management, and execution to help you with custom market research projects. SIVO On Demand Talent solution also has 100+ fractional Consumer Insights Professionals with a range of skillsets to help you meet your business objectives on your timeline, reducing your stress while allowing you to make a positive impact on your business. 

Adopting a fractional mindset will help you approach your role and your workload with confidence, efficiency, and effectiveness. And when the time comes, let SIVO be the agency that you delegate to! 



More Posts

The Power of Ethnographic Research 

Did you know that 81% of consumers say they want brands to get to know them and 66% report that they would be willing to share their personal data to receive more personalized experiences?

A Case for Expert Qualitative Research Moderators 

Have you had a conversation with your consumer? It is an enlightening and humbling experience to really get to know who they are, what they think, how they experience your product or service, and what they need from that experience.