Entrepreneurs face constant challenges in their efforts to avoid wasting time. Small distractions can have a cumulative impact of stealing valuable hours from each day. Worse yet, a major distraction can become as burdensome as a second occupation for the entrepreneur who has not developed a system for avoiding activities that serve no useful purpose for the business. Adopting techniques for identifying time-wasting activities and developing the self-restraint to avoid succumbing to such distractions can give the entrepreneur additional time for making the business more profitable.
Learning to Identify Wastes of Time
A key step in avoiding time-wasting activities involves developing the ability to identify them in a quick manner. Make a point of asking yourself, at hourly intervals, whether your current activity advances your business goals effectively. If your answer is negative, move on to another task. Some time-wasting activities are obvious, while others can take a while to prove wasteful. For example, a business developer might spend an extraordinary amount of time cultivating a relationship with a client who proves to have a limited need for the products or services offered. Psychologists report that multitasking is a waste of time, which makes people less aware of the quality of their activity performance.
Significant Ways Small Businesses Waste Time
These three activities are common wastes of time for small businesses:
- Initiating programs in a rushed manner without taking the time to establish clear strategies for achieving specific objectives is a notorious waste of time. This situation usually arises from pressure to achieve better performance metrics without increased resources.
- Another waste of time occurs when managers allow subordinates to redirect their responsibilities to management. This typically results from reluctance to require employees adherence to stipulated job performance requirements. As a result, management is distracted from its actual responsibilities while performing the work of subordinates.
- Unproductive meetings are a waste of time for businesses. Meetings that recap past activities, rather than focus on plans for the future, unnecessarily consume time. Information about past activities usually appears in written form and can be provided to attendees ahead of the meeting, leaving more time for constructive discussion.
Developing Techniques to Avoid Wastes of Time
Successful entrepreneurs know how to be frugal with their time. Developing appropriate techniques, as well as the self-discipline to avoid time-wasters, could be the crucial element in your ability to make your business successful. Take time to consider whether a particular activity is simply an anxiety avoidance pattern, focusing your attention on familiar tasks while diverting you from more anxiety-producing challenges. Freeing yourself from these patterns can facilitate an appropriate reordering of priorities, allowing you to address the most important challenges for your business.
Software Solutions for Improving Time Management
Entrepreneurs can avoid wasting time by taking advantage of business management software platforms, such as My Business Manager. This app produces graphical management reports and time-saving dashboards for accessing important data. My Business Manager links to QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop accounting software.