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5 Things Small Businesses Waste Time on Each Day

5 Things Small Businesses Waste Time on Each Day

The competitive nature of the business world today means professionals can’t afford to waste time. Every ineffective minute is a minute that could have been put towards growing their businesses. Over time, that lack of productivity adds up, causing companies to lag behind the competition.

The first step toward eliminating those inefficiencies is to identify them. Here are several time wasters that are common across many organizations.

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1. Social Media

Businesses understand that to provide the best customer service, they need to monitor their social media accounts. This allows them to immediately catch any customer complaints and respond immediately. However, watching social media around the clock can be extremely distracting. Invest in small business software that automates as much as possible, including social media mentions. Make sure the tool you choose allows you to assign customer complaints to one of your skilled customer service representatives, who will then have accountability for following up.

2. Emails

You may not realize just how much time you waste each day reading, responding to, and forwarding emails. Take time to educate your team on efficient email practices, including cc’ing only those employees who truly need to know about an issue. Tools like instant messengers and collaboration software let teams communicate more efficiently. Instead of forwarding emails from one person to another, everyone can meet in one place. Team members can also see when someone’s online and initiate a chat instantly, which serves as a big help for businesses with employees working outside of the office.

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3. Tech Problems

Technology is supposed to make your life easier, so it can be frustrating when you have to spend time troubleshooting issues. Be aware of the most common issues facing your specific device types and have someone you can contact if you need urgent assistance. Even if you’re a one-person operation, make sure you have a backup option for your laptop and smartphone in case you should find that you have to turn it over to a technician for a few days. Your business can’t shut down every time your hard drive dies or somehow becomes infected with malware.

4. Meetings

Meetings top the list of time wasters in business today. This is another area where collaboration tools can be a much more effective alternative. Even if your meetings are conducted by telephone or video conference, you’re asking employees to take time out of a busy day to dial in. If meetings are a must, streamline as much as possible by creating an agenda and making a conscious effort to avoid straying from it throughout the meeting. Do what you can to keep meetings short, including only those employees who need the information you’re relaying.

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5. Drama

Drama is an unavoidable part of dealing with people, whether it’s a client making a scene or two employees battling over personal issues. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple tool you can purchase to easily manage drama, but you can equip yourself with the knowledge you need to confront these issues when they arise. There are steps you can take to prevent drama, but there’s no guarantee that anything you do will stop it completely. When you see a problem occurring, pull each involved party aside separately and get as much information as possible. Let all involved people know that while you care about their concerns, the work has to come first. Try to come to a resolution or, if that isn’t possible, conduct disciplinary action against any employees who have gone against company policy.

Once you’re aware of the things you do each day that waste time, you can take steps to become more productive. Be honest with yourself as you identify time wasters and you’ll likely find that you’re getting more done each day, which will accelerate your business’s growth.

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More by this author

Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

Change begins today

Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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