We’ve all heard the saying everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, choose how you spend your time wisely. Yet we are all guilty of watching the clock tick by, getting to the end of the day and not feeling like we have accomplished as much as we planned to do.
Worse still, we use our 24 hours ineffectively, convincing ourselves that because we are “busy” we are making the time spent worthwhile.
One common example of this is being active on social media. Even if we are disciplined enough to not get caught up in chatting with friends, or flicking through our neighbour’s holiday snaps, we often are guilty of spending a vast amount of time contributing in group discussions, liking and commenting on business posts and sharing content on our business page. All worthwhile exercises of course, if there is a strategy behind the activity to further your business results.
Another example is attending networking events and lunches to make new contacts meet prospects and raise your profile. Many times people attend these events with no planned outcomes or agenda, hoping they will meet the client of their dreams, only to find they are being handed multiple business cards with promises to catch up for coffee, with each party hoping it will further their business.
These are two common time wasters in business, however, have you thought about how you are creating Time Theft with these ones?
1. Doing tasks which do not utilise your best skill sets or expertise, which could be done by someone else
2. Repeating yourself when giving directions and delegating tasks to another team member.
3. Re-writing letters, emails, quotes, and other correspondence from scratch each time you prepare a document
4. Constantly having to look for files, information or resources because it is not stored in sensible, easy to find, places
5. Having to chase up where an item of work is up to as there is no formal workflow system in place to collect and report on this information
There are many more cases where we waste time in business (or our days in general) because we don’t take the time to set up systems and processes to create efficiencies and save time in the long run.
Systemising processes, focusing attention on those tasks which match our skill set, and outsourcing the ones which don’t not only improves productivity, it makes the day far more enjoyable.
I challenge you to take note of how you spend your day for a week and look for those tasks which you find yourself repeatedly doing. Then ask yourself two questions.
1. Do I need to do this task?
2. If so, how can I streamline it so it doesn’t take as much time?
How much Time Theft are you guilty of?