By Emily LaDrig
As an entrepreneur, you started your business because you have passion, you’re curious, and you’re always on the hunt for someone or something to give you an edge.
You’re also used to doing a lot on your own. You’re the point person for almost every decision your business makes. You make the call and have to deal with the consequences.
And unfortunately, that could be hurting your business’s growth.
Time is your most precious commodity as a busy entrepreneur. What if you could wave a wand and get a big chunk of time back each day? Imagine what you could accomplish.
"Many entrepreneurs unthinkingly waste a lot of time on low-value work that can be delegated or even eliminated,” says Chris Bailey, a productivity expert and author of the book The Productivity Project. “Being productive means being more deliberate about your work.”
While simple tasks like email and meetings can take up your time, there are several other things that you’re doing throughout your day that are truly wasting your valuable minutes.
To be successful, you'll need to learn to manage your time better, and that will require addressing these top 5 time-wasters:
When you get to the office, do you know what you’re going to do and when, or do you just see where the day takes you? Entrepreneurs are constantly pulled in different directions throughout the day by employees, vendors and customers for various reasons.
It is so important to set your main priorities for the day, at the beginning of the day; write them down, give them a deadline, and complete them.
Many entrepreneurs waste enormous amounts of time doing routine tasks they should be delegating. You are excited about your work and ideas, and you may tend to hate the idea of someone else taking over that work.
To identify the extent of the problem, write down all the things you do at work over a week or month.
You must realize that you alone cannot run a business. So hire people with good skills and delegate the tasks to them so you can get back to the fun stuff.
When you started your business you created a plan for how the startup would run, but it probably hasn't panned out exactly like you thought. Yet if you take out time during each day to analyze, scrutinize or reshape your processes, it could take hours.
There will be hiccups, gaps in communication and new, unforeseen developments that interfere with how things operate. Do what you can to make clear, focused changes.
Some of the infrastructure and processes your startup uses will be written down and planned, but it’s more likely in the first year or two of your operation that you’ll run into situations you haven’t accounted for.
No new entrepreneur takes the time to think of every variable, every role and every responsibility that needs to be taken care of. The result? Ambiguity. And that makes it difficult to determine what exactly needs to be handled, when and by whom. To remedy this problem, attempt to document as many processes as you can.
5. New ideas
Most new entrepreneurs are creative and inventive, but they tend to be distracted by many new directions. It's an easy temptation to fall into, but staying aware and focused as you build your company is of the utmost importance.
You’re never going to be flawless, but you can certainly waste a lot of time trying. Staying productive and keeping sane means occasionally taking inventory of how you’re spending your time. And more importantly, where you’re wasting it.
Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for modern entrepreneurs. Do these time-wasters sound familiar? Have more to add to the list? Share them with Emily at email@example.com.