As business owners, we often talk about how busy we are, to the point where if someone tells us that we’re wasting time with our business it feels almost like a personal insult! But the hard truth is, there’s a huge difference between just being busy and being busy doing the right things. The even harder truth is that it can be hard to see that difference when you’re already in the middle of doing things. So let us clear a few things up — here are five of the biggest time wasters in your business:
You definitely need to be connected to run a business — but what so often gets overlooked is the need to disconnect regularly, as in, as part of a daily practice. If your phone is constantly pinging with updates, you’re going to be constantly reacting and your plans are going to go out the window. Likewise, we know how easy it is to fall down a Facebook hole, but even if you tell yourself that you’re networking or doing it for business, you know deep down that’s not what’s going on.
Doing it all yourself
There’s a reason that businesses — and humans in general — work best when there’s a team involved. When you try to do it all yourself, you end up spending so much time on the things that aren’t your strengths that it really takes away from the great work you do when you play your strengths. So outsource, outsource, outsource so you can focus on your area of genius!
Unfocused professional development
AKA, just one more course syndrome. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you know more, then your business will do better. And while we’ll never advocate trying to go it alone or diving into something without a plan, there’s a time when you have to just go for it if you ever want to make progress. So go to courses, learn from the best, but do it strategically. If you don’t have a specific, measurable result that you want to get out of the course, ebook, or free download, then you should skip it, at least for now.
Poor boundary setting
This one often stems from really good intentions. For instance, you may try to be really generous with your time or your skills, which is a lovely thing, but if you let it get out of hand then it will suck the life out of your business. You know what we’re talking about: giving away long free consults, talking to potential clients for hours on end or through email after email, doing “just that one more little thing” that your client asks you for when you know there’s something else you could be doing … bottom line, getting your boundaries in place is key for your business. It also keeps you from getting resentful (which will absolutely happen if you let people roll over your boundaries over and over again) and will allow you the flexibility to practice generosity on your terms, not as a default.
How many times have you sat on an email for an hour because you’re just not quite sure it’s right yet? How many times have you delayed a launch because you want to keep tweaking things just for one more week? Perfectionism is a huge time waster, and it’s really common in entrepreneurial businesses because most entrepreneurs are naturally high performing, give-the-best type of people, which can make it hard to ship. So just remember, done is better than perfect — and you can always go back later to change something or make it better IF you get feedback that merits it.
So how about it — do you see yourself in any of these? And what are you going to do today to change that?