4 Time-Sucking Activities That Take Away From Your Business

Companies have lots on their plates, and small business owners, in particular, wear many hats. However, not all of those hats are equally important, though it can be hard to know which responsibilities are worth your time and which are major drains.

Time-consuming business activities

Watch for these four ways that businesses — especially small operations — waste money, resources, and time without realizing it.

Constantly Checking Emails

Answering emails is a surprisingly time-consuming task. Far too often, people waste time answering unnecessary emails or lack the discipline to refrain from checking emails and answering messages constantly throughout the day.

Of course, it’s important — even vital, in some cases — to answer certain emails. However, you should set aside a dedicated, limited amount of time each day to check emails. Try doing this first thing in the morning or immediately after lunch. Having a certain time for this activity will help prevent answering emails from becoming a distraction.

Working on Unoptimized Activities

Especially as your business grows, you may find that you’re spending long hours on remedial tasks and ignoring the work you love or, even worse, more important tasks. One way to avoid wasting time on unoptimized activities is to look for software that can help you run your business. With QuickBooks, for example, you can quickly print checks for employees and vendors once payday arrives.

Prioritizing the Wrong Activities

Even if you stay productive from 9 to 5, you could be wasting time by prioritizing the wrong activities. Are you busy micromanaging, for example, or are you having trouble giving up control over tasks you’ve delegated? Develop a clear understanding of your role in the business, and prioritize those responsibilities over anything else you could be doing.

Refusing to Delegate

For small businesses in particular, the act of letting go and trusting others is a massive challenge. Not only can refusing to delegate lead to wasting time on nonessential small tasks, but there are also some duties that are better left to someone more qualified. Payroll management, for example, is a time-consuming task that’s best left to a professional once a business expands past a certain point. Social media management is another duty that can take up your entire day if you aren’t careful.

If you’re a small business owner who’s wondering whether you could benefit from wise delegation, try some self-reflection and think about how you spend each day. Are you actually managing your business, or are you constantly in the office tracking orders for inventory or adding hours to timesheets? Or have you transitioned to new responsibilities and are no longer fulfilling your initial role from when you started the company? If either of these cases applies to you, delegating could help optimize your time at work and keep things running smoothly.

Managing a business is a full-time job, and there are only so many hours in each day when you can get work done. Make the most of this time while maintaining a healthy workload by watching for these four time-sucking activities and integrating the above tips to stay focused on actually running your enterprise.

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