Do you feel like your drowning in your to-do list? Or, at the end of the day do you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing even though you’ve been busy all day? As a business owner or manager, time management is crucial. Avoiding the 5 time wasters below can help.
1. Checking email
Yes, your email is important, but it’s also a time-suck. When you work through your email list you are shifting your focus from the things that you need to work on to the things that are on everyone else’s to-do list. This is why you need to be strategic about when you check it.
According to one study, “55% of people check their email some time before they go in to work.” That means when you show up at work, your focus is already shifted from your to-do list to what everyone else needs from you. For most people, the morning is their most productive time because this is when you’re cognitively at your best. This is when you should be focused on your priorities.
Another way that you waste time on email is by checking it all throughout the day. Try limiting the number of times you check your email. If you struggle with this, you can use an app to pause your inbox. This means no new emails will come in during that time period. You can send emails out without being distracted by incoming ones.
2. Not delegating
A common struggle for new managers, or small business owners with a new staff, is learning how to delegate. You’re used to doing everything on your own and making sure that it’s done right. It can be intimidating to hand over the responsibility to someone else. But, if you’re still holding onto tasks that someone else should be doing, you’re wasting your time.
Delegation is uncomfortable, but necessary if you’re going to achieve your goals.
Don’t get me wrong, some meetings are productive. But, the majority of them aren’t for many reasons including:
- The wrong people are involved so the conversation isn’t productive
- It could have been handled through a simple phone call or email
- You don’t stick to the agenda topics
- People are just “thinking out loud” instead of showing up with concrete ideas
- The meetings fill a time-slot like “30-minutes” instead of only lasting the 15-minutes that were actually productive
One of the things that our SPEARity coaches teach during business coaching with Milwaukee leaders is to make use of 15-minute meetings to stop wasting time.
4. Not knowing where to focus your energy
If you’re working without a to-list or priority list, you’re wasting time throughout your day. When you start your day knowing what you’re going to be working on, you are far more productive. That’s why the SPEARity app was designed. It allows you to set your goals and then schedule tasks that allow you to focus your attention on reaching them.
If you aren’t currently using the app, you can schedule a demo here.
5. Not having systems in place
Organization doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s crucial if you want to stop wasting time. The actual system that you use doesn’t matter, it just matters that you have some type of system in place that you’re using.
Work on creating systems for the different tasks that you complete at work. This will help you spot other areas that you’re wasting time along with making it easier to delegate some of those tasks in the future.
If you aren’t sure where to start with creating systems, contact a SPEARity business coach to get started.
Need help finding areas to be more efficient?
Are you tired of drowning in your to-do list? Ready to learn how to be more productive and start reaching your goals?
Give us a call to explore your options. We are SPEARity, a local Milwaukee business coaching firm that specializes in executive coaching and leadership development training.