5 Ways to Quit Wasting Time as a Business Owner

thinkIf you’re like most business owners, there’s never enough time in the day to get what you need to do done. You often wish you could clone yourself, but alas, you cannot.

Still, I’m willing to bet there are areas where you’re wasting valuable time you could be spending on other activities that would help you grow your business.

1. Are You Doing All Your Admin?

If you’re a one-man or one-woman show, probably so. But there’s no reason you need to. Most of administrative tasks are automated and simple enough to hand over to someone else. This could be your chance to delegate. It’s a difficult transition for many, but a rewarding one for every business.

Consider hiring an accountant or part timer to take over your QuickBooks management. Bring in an intern to perform data entry. Clear space on your schedule to work on more taxing things, like developing business strategy.

2. Do You Get Sucked into Facebook?

If you manage your company’s social media, you certainly have a valid reason for being on Facebook, but it’s all too easy to drift away from your company page and over to look at funny cat videos. Facebook is a downward spiral! Don’t let it take your time away.

Set a timer for the amount of time you need to work on your business’ social media. It could be as little as 15 minutes. Save the personal browsing and sharing for after work hours. Also try scheduling updates in advance so you don’t have to check in every day. Both Facebook Pages and HootSuite allow you to do so.


3. Are You Recreating the Wheel?

Whether it’s keeping track of signed paper contracts or scheduling your employees by hand, there’s a lot of time-waste here. Maybe you’re simply not aware of software like EchoSign or ScheduleBase that solve these problems for you.

Consider the tasks that take you the longest, and then go see if there are software solutions to make the work easier. Much of what we’ve done in the past manually is now automated through software, like accounting, email marketing, receipt scanning, and scheduling.

4. Do You Over-Multitask?

Multitasking, despite it being less-than-efficient for us, is all too common among the entrepreneur set. Still, we switch from one screen to another, and check our email in between each thought.

Try slowing down and just focus on one activity at a time. Block it off on your calendar, if you have to. The more time you spend on just one thing, the better the results.

5. Do You Procrastinate?

Do you constantly put off projects until the last minute? There are reasons people procrastinate, and knowing your own triggers can go a long way to helping you eliminate them. Likely, the project is just too large for you to get your head around.

Try this instead: Break down the project into smaller projects. If you have to write a 1,000-word article, start with a goal of 100 words each day. It will be easier to digest these smaller objectives, so you should be able to waste less time procrastinating!

Your time as an entrepreneur is precious. Don’t waste it. Use these tips to be more productive day to day.

under100 headshotSusan Payton is a writer for ScheduleBase, a mobile employee scheduling app that makes it easy for retailers to schedule staff. Follow her on Google+ or Twitter.
Image courtesy Rennett Stowe
 

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4 Comments

  1. Great tips! I’ve been guilty of all five of these myself. I’ve found that the best ways to overcome these time-wasters are:

    1. Automate tasks (I use IFTTT, among other services)
    2. Exercise self-control (I make it a point to to logout of social accounts, but during days when I’m not as disciplined as I want to be, I use a site blocking tool called Cold Turkey.)
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