When it comes to a productive work day, there are plenty of things that get in the way. The casual, “drop-by” conversations; checking and responding to mountains of email; and, of course, the endless possibilities brought to you by the internet. But those are also all within the eyes, and the control, of the beholder, and often it just takes some simple motivation and self-control to get back on track.
But what about those hidden or less obvious time sucking realities that are buried in the everyday? For business owners, the inefficiencies in processes, tasks, and project management can quickly turn into costly time-suckers that can seriously jeopardize the success of your business.
1. Too Many Meetings or Unproductive Meetings
Eleven million. That’s how many meetings are held per day in the United States. Half of those meetings are reportedly a waste of time. Unnecessary or unproductive meetings have become a hallmark of the workplace, and yet, over the course of a week, they can put a significant dent in productivity as well as your bottom line.
Evaluate your meetings and work with your managers to reduce meetings where possible and make other, necessary, meetings more efficient. Use agendas, come prepared, and take notes.
2. Management & Administrative Tasks
Your goal may be to close deals or get products out the door, but running a business takes a lot more than that. Payroll, benefits, finances, inventory, scheduling – these are all necessary tasks associated with running a business. The same is true for project management, which if not done properly can lead to significant time lost, poor performance, and missed deadlines.
Fortunately, today’s technology allows business owners to transform that work from a manual, time-sucking hassle to an automated and efficient process.
If there’s an administrative or project management task you need to complete, there is likely an app to help you do it. As an added bonus, many of the apps out there are designed to easily integrate with each other, meaning you can store and transfer valuable information from app to app, cutting out even more time spent on mundane yet required tasks.
3. Trying to Do It All Yourself
You built your business from the ground up, putting plenty of time, effort, and money on the table to get things going. That commitment to seeing every step of the journey through can easily translate to a general responsibility to oversee all aspects of the business. Trying to do everything is not only exhausting, but it can be a real waste of your time any energy.
In the very beginning, finding employees you can trust may be difficult, but over time, it’s important to allow those in management positions to do just that, manage their department, providing you with feedback as necessary. Delegating tasks is imperative if you want to your business to succeed. By doing so, you free up time to focus on the bigger picture and make decisions that will save and grow your business.
4. Not Setting Clear Expectations
Delegating tasks to your employees will go a long way in maximizing your time, but for it to be productive, clear expectations need to be in place. That’s true for you as well. Without clear expectations, the road map can veer off track, leaving projects meandering months past their projected close dates, everyday tasks turning into huge and confusing ordeals, and employees bogged down by uncertainty.
From job descriptions to quarterly goals, expectations can will help clarify duties and create roadmaps for the weeks and months ahead, help you and your team save time and stay on track.
There are plenty of ways that waste time in the work day, and some of them, like browsing the internet or responding to emails and calls, are obvious and easy to control. Other’s, like those mentioned above, may be less obvious but are far more dangerous if left unchecked. If you’re falling into any the time sucking mistakes above, it’s time to stop wasting and time and start saving your bottom line.
Having emergency cash on hand can be your key to managing cash flow.