Business Tips

These Are the Biggest Time-Wasters for You and Your Business

It might be a cliche, but time really is money. And it’s not just money that matters when you think about how you’re using your time. If you run a business, you have to think about the value of everything you’re doing in terms of how it helps you to achieve your goals. On top of your business goals, you’re sure to have personal goals to achieve too.

To use your time more wisely, you need to identify the biggest time-wasting activities (or non-activity) so that you can address them appropriately. You could easily find several things your business is doing or not doing that are slowing everything down and impeding progress.

 

Manual Data Entry

Data entry is still a crucial task for many businesses. But having someone in your company doing it all manually could be a huge waste of time or money. Some people have turned to software to help with data entry, but that’s not always the best choice. You might be able to save money with a data entry virtual assistant who can do it all for you off-site. When you need manual data entry transcribed from handwritten records, it’s often more accurate to get a human to do it. It’s also likely to be cheaper than having someone in your office complete the job.

 

Micromanaging Employees

When you run a business, it’s understandable that you want to oversee everything that’s going on. You want to make sure everything is going the right way and everyone is working well. But giving into micromanaging could slow things down, rather than keep things ticking along. When your employees are constantly being interrupted and managed, and have someone looking over their shoulder, they will find it harder to work efficiently. Sometimes you need to let everyone get on with what they have on their plate. It’s still acceptable to check in, but it’s important not to do it too much.

 

Constant Meetings

Meetings have their place. You may need to give updates on a project or get everyone in a team to report on their progress and share information. However, too many meetings are likely to be wasting everyone’s time. Before you arrange a meeting, consider whether it’s really necessary. A quick meeting for everyone to share what they’re working on each morning might be all you need. Sometimes when you think a meeting could be necessary, it might actually be acceptable to send an email to all relevant parties or even update people in the right Slack channel.

 

Disorganization

As your business grows, keeping it organized can become more challenging. There are more processes and moving parts, and you need to come up with the right solutions to keep everything working smoothly. Disorganization can waste a lot of time because it slows people down when they need to get down to work. One example is if your data isn’t organized well. Trying to find the right information can become a challenge, leaving people wasting time on it when they could be working on something more useful.

Online Distractions

If you work in an office setting, social media and other online distractions are a natural time-waster for just about everyone. It’s difficult to use the internet for work while ignoring everything else it offers. Employers might choose to deal with this in different ways. Some may block certain sites to prevent access altogether. Others might encourage taking breaks to use these sites, leaving employees free to concentrate on their work at other times. Consult with your employees to find out which methods they might find effective and provide advice on how they can block out distractions.

 

Multitasking

People may think that they can multitask, but the truth is that it’s not a very effective way of working. When people multitask, what they’re really doing is rapidly switching between several tasks. This means that no single task gets their full attention, so they’re often just doing a few things poorly or adequately, instead of doing one thing well. Set a good example by avoiding multitasking and encouraging employees to do the same. Instead, it can be useful to group similar tasks into batches so that the same type of skills or thinking can be used across one period of work.

Emails and Internal Messaging

It’s always important to maintain communication between teams and with external parties too. However, there can be such a thing as too much communication. When everyone is constantly checking their emails or has to constantly reply to messages, they can be distracted from the rest of their work. To combat this, you could set parameters for when to check and when to send emails and messages. Outline guidelines for when emails need to be sent and replied to, as well as when it’s appropriate to directly message (or mention) someone in a chat app.

 

Poor Delegation

Delegation becomes more and more relevant as your company gets bigger. The right tasks need to be delegated to the right people so everyone’s time is used wisely. It also gives more junior people the chance to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities. If jobs aren’t being delegated well, some people can end up with more on their plate than necessary while others end up at a loss for things to do. Good delegation can help you manage your time efficiently and ensure everyone is able to manage their energy levels too.

 

Lack of Planning

It’s normal to want to hit the ground running when you have a new project. But doing that without stopping to think about how you’re going to use your time could be a big mistake. A lack of planning and forethought could mean work ends up meandering with no real direction. It could also end up with your team having to backtrack on what you’ve done because you didn’t take the right approach to begin with. Planning out your work more thoughtfully can save you time in the long run.

Stop wasting time in your business and you could also save money and be more productive too.

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