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Weapons of Mass Distraction: Small business “focus slayers” Posted on October 9, 2018
This month we share with you the top 10 time wasters and “focus slayers” in the business and what you can do about it.
1. Shifting Priorities
Shifting priorities is a time robber that creates more confusion in our work environment than any other. In many work areas, shifting priorities happens so often and so quickly that the employees ends up confused and without a feeling of fulfilment from their work.
Did you know that once you are distracted from a current task, it takes on average about 6 minutes to re-focus and begin being productive again? That means if you have 10 distractions in a day, not only are you wasting time on the distraction, but it is taking you an HOUR to refocus!
3. No Clear Goals
Many business owners focus on OUTPUTS instead INPUTS. An example would be, “Build better relationships with my customers” – this is the out put of something else.
Set an input goal like, “Call each customer every month” – this will have the effect of building better relationships.
How organised is you workspace? Take time out to get really organised and structure your workspace.
Procrastination is the big brother of perfection. In other words, if I cant get it perfect, blow it, I wont do it at all. A saying that represents this is, “Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.”
So as long as you are improving, then keep going.
6. Ineffective Delegation
Delegation is the most effective form of on the job training. However many business owners get into the trap of saying, “give it to me, I will do it myself”. This can create a work habit that says, this is how you like to work and actually bring you down into the detail.
7. Can’t say “NO”
Some say ‘no’ strategies include:
Don’t hold out false hope once you have reached your decision be clear that ‘no means no’.
Justify when you refuse to take on a project make sure you back up the decision with solid reasons.
Suggest someone else that could help.
Suggest another approach.
And remember don’t use the word ‘Maybe’ this is a signal that you could possibly do it.
Saying ‘no’ could save you, your staff members or clients a lot time and money if you’re straight to the point.
8. Poor Planning
No two businesses are alike, so also their plans. It is therefore important to prepare a plan keeping in view the necessities of your business and desired outcome. A plan is an important aspect of business.
A plan should be a realistic view of the expectations. Depending upon the activities, a plan can be long range, intermediate range or short range. Planning helps in forecasting the future, makes the future visible to some extent. It bridges between where we are and where we want to go. Planning is looking ahead.
Planning can be summarized in 3 easy steps:
1. Choosing a destination
2. Evaluating alternative routes
3. Deciding the specific course of your plan.
9. Poor use of systems
Systems are formulated and put in place as a roadmap and path to follow and guide you to your business goals.
They are not put in place to make things harder and almost all systems make the process more efficient so when they are not followed errors can occur which will ultimately need to be corrected which in turn is more time spend on one task that could have been done correctly the first time.
Bill Gates once said the only reason to have a meeting is to make a decision and decide the actions to take. The next time you have a meeting ask yourself, what decisions need to be made and what actions will be take and who will do them.
So there you have it. The top 10 timewasters in business. At our regular workshops we share with you a whole series of strategies to help you manage your time better.