In our recent webinar ‘7 Steps to Mastering Your Time’, Mark G. Richardson (renowned author, speaker, and business advisor) listed some of the most common mistakes business owners make when it comes to time management, namely:
- Not planning your day
- Not writing things down
- Talking instead of listening
- Not simplifying small tasks
- Not leveraging your time
- Not using the most effective means of communication
- Going too fast or too slow
This list already covers a lot of ground. But if you’re one of the many people who have trouble recognizing the exact patterns and behaviors they need to address in order to become a Time Master, you may need a bit more help. So here are seven more examples of ways you may be wasting your time:
Surprise! Multitasking doesn’t work. Research has shown that only 2% of people can effectively juggle multiple tasks without seriously compromising performance. Repeatedly switching gears not only takes time, it wastes time.
Tip: Do one thing at a time.
When you waste time controlling employees’ deliverables, you compromise your own performance, to the bigger detriment of the company. And not only is micromanagement a major source of inefficiency, it’s also a symptom of a bigger problem: fear of failure, pressure to perform, poor hiring decisions or lack of trust.
Tip: Address the root of the problem.
(10) Postponing difficult tasks
Let’s call this what it is: procrastination in denial. De-prioritizing bigger tasks either fools you into thinking you’re being productive or keeps you from giving 100% of your focus to the smaller tasks you decided to put first. Here’s a strange quote often attributed to Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
Tip: Eat that frog!
(11) Not automating simple tasks
Examples of automations that will save you more time than you think: auto-filtering emails; setting repeating reminders for daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly tasks; using social media management tools that let you check notifications and schedule updates from one dashboard.
Tip: Use the tools you have at your disposal.
(12) Answering communications as they come in
This is a specific type of multitasking that can really add up without you noticing. And while some responses can be automated, the same can’t be said for most. The good news is, unless you’re in customer service, nine times out of ten, your response can wait.
Tip: Assign (limited) times for answering messages.
(13) Scheduling too many meetings
Of the 25 million meetings called in the U.S. every day, more than 90% fail to produce results. This isn’t to say meetings should be avoided altogether; only that care should be taken to ensure each meeting has a clear agenda, specific start and end times, and materials prepared in advance.
Tip: Use phone calls or emails whenever possible.
(14) Setting unrealistically high standards
Perfection is a time-wasting pipe dream. And while striving for excellence is great, it’s important to recognize that trying too hard to reach perfection can affect your morale and mental health. Remember: Imperfect and excellent are not mutually exclusive!
Tip: Just get it out the door, then improve as needed.
Part of becoming a Time Master is knowing when to get help from an expert. Surefire Local knows what it takes to build an efficient, well-oiled marketing machine. We offer tools that will put your marketing to work so you can finally get the quality leads you really want.
If you’d like to schedule a demo with the Surefire Local team, get in touch with us at 888-804-8685 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.