Why are 10-hour days the norm for business proprietors? Perhaps because the typical business owner can fritter away half of his or her day doing bits and bats, but nothing that moves the business forward. Doing non-profit tasks are important, even vital, to the functioning of the business. However, done to the extreme, they become detrimental to the success of the business.
You may not be surprised to learn what the biggest time wasters are… but take a fresh look. Evaluate your activities and what effect they have onyour business. Now realign these activities to your business goals.
Internet surfing. Very few of us realise how much time we spend browsing.
Social Media. Spend your energy on communicating with the people that matter. Evaluate and measure your return on time invested. All social media interactions are not necessarily created equal.
Meetings. Always, always question internal meetings. Before you schedule a meeting, recognise the enormous cost of pulling you and your team away from their regular workflow.
Communication Tools – No systems in place. It’s not the tools themselves that’s the problem, but rather the attention to them. If a communication medium is breaking your concentration, it probably is hindering you more than it is helping. Not having some sort of system to deal with interruptions — such as email, text, calls, IM messaging and the daily barrage of information — means a huge time drain.
Multi-Tasking. Constantly trying to do everything at the same time. Computers can do this very quickly – people can’t.
Being Busy Vs. Being Productive. When you’re busy, it may look like you’re getting lots done, but it’s actually energy being scattered. When you’re moving in pursuit of a goal, then you’re doing things effectively and accomplishing important things.
TV without a purpose. It’s easy to get lost for hours with all those channels to pick from.
Not knowing your life purpose. Stephen Covey said: “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster”. There is no bigger time-waster than putting a lot of effort into something only to realise you’ve climbed the wrong ladder for years.
It isn’t a matter of doing a lot of things; it’s doing the right thing for you.
P.S. The secret to taking your personal effectiveness to levels you never dreamed of is simple. Take action on that which is most important – important to your mission and vision.