The most precious commodity in the universe is time.
We all know that we only have 24 hours in a day. However, when you subtract sleeping, eating, and basic living necessities we actually only have between 12 and 16 hours each day. Making sure that we do not waste any of those precious hours is a task for anyone in this economy and especially for busy entrepreneurs. So in this post we are going to take a quick look at five time wasters that just steal your time. By being aware of these time vampires we all will be able to get more done and make more money.
Most people begin their day by opening their email and immediately their day is now being controlled by whatever is showing up in the in-box. Another problem is the number of times that we check our email. According to RescueTime, a company that analyzes computer habits, a typical worker checks email more than 50 times a day. When you think about it that’s once every 9.6 minutes.
One way to avoid getting sucked into this time vortex is to set a specific time of the day that you will read and answer your email. Most emails are not urgent although they may be important. As long as you respond within a reasonable period of time most people will be fine not having an immediate response. Also, think about what you are saying with your actions if you are responding to emails immediately. In some ways you are training those folks that you are always around and available. This could cause unrealistic expectations to develop and increase the number of interruptions throughout the day (see below).
Ever lose track of time with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube?
I was speaking with one business owner recently who told me that they only spend four hours a day on social media. Given what we said above that is a lot of time that could be used making money. Online socializing even when used for business purposes-can be a time waster if it interferes with other projects.
Now I am not saying to get rid of social media. Rather control the amount of time you are involved with social media. Begin by giving yourself permission to check in online with others. Next, designate a set amount of time each day for online social sites. If you really think about it in 15-20 minutes, you can update your status or send a few tweets.
Attending Unnecessary Meetings
There are a lot of organizations that have their people constantly attending one meeting after another. So we have to be careful not to get caught up in meetings by customers. Especially if we are not getting paid for attending. A few years ago Dan Kennedy shared a story with me where he was called into a meeting with a fortune 500 company. He arrived on time but the rest of the staff was late. In fact, they did not show up for over several hours. The good news is that he brought work to do while he waited and was being compensated for his time. However, there are a lot of entrepreneurs that get sucked into being part of a meeting and do not receive any compensation for their time. In most cases the meetings are not that important to begin with.
There’s nothing worse than someone who asks for just a minute of your time. Most would agree that it is never a minute. If you are lucky it is only 10 minutes. However, the problem is that these interruptions take you away from being focused on whatever it was you were doing. Getting back into flow is difficult and those 10 minutes can easily cost you a lot more time just getting going again.
One way to handle this problem is to begin by letting others know that you will be unavailable between certain times. You will need to reinforce this by either closing your door and putting a sign on it and placing the phone on do not disturb. Also, setup a time when anyone can get a hold of you. Perhaps during a non productive part of the day.
Yes, we all believe that we can multi task and get more things done in shorter periods of time. This is a myth that many studies recently have been able to discredit. Instead of getting more done what we end up doing is breaking up our concentration between all the tasks that we are trying to do.
This actually results in either not doing a very good job at any one task, or taking longer than if we would have simply focused on each task independently. It also ends up wearing down our productivity. So we just have to get rid of the habit and focus on one thing at a time.
One of the areas that we focus on at Bay Area Mastermind is improving performance standards of our members by sharing with them the latest research and techniques that maximize performance. If you would like to learn how to get more done in less time, try checking out the “Test Drive” and take your business to a whole new level of growth and profitability.
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