We live in a world full of fun and entertainment. And although things like Netflix, YouTube and Buzzfeed can transform a boring night into an all-night-cat-video-binge-fest, they can cause serious problems for your productivity over time.
If it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to stay on track, or that you’re constantly making deadlines by the skin of your teeth, it may be time to rethink how you work. So to help you get on the trail to time management we’ve created a list of the top 7 productivity killers and how you can avoid them.
Social media, iPhones, random Google searches – although all amazing time killers, they can drain your productivity like nobody’s business. Distractions run rampant in everyday life. And while some unavoidable, many can be eliminated with the simple press of a button, a pair of headphones and some music, or dealing with potential distractions before you start a project. And for the love of productivity silence that ever-present cell phone, take the dog out before you begin the project, eat first – work later. It may be hard at first, but get into the habit of cutting out distractions and it will become second nature.
Not Having A Plan
If you’re a frequent reader of the Black Dog blog or a member of the Pet Business Marketing Mastery program, you’ve probably heard us say “have a plan” about 46 times. Why? Because just taking a little bit of time before starting a new project to create a game plan can have a huge impact on your project.
Snoozing The Alarm
There’s nothing wrong with taking a day catch up on your sleep, especially if you’ve been overworking yourself. But think about your average day and how many times you hit the snooze on your alarm. Are those nine minutes of interrupted sleep really helping to make you feel more refreshed or alert? That’s time each day that could be put towards a morning workout or getting an early start on the day’s work. Those little blocks of time here and there not spent sleeping can start to add up, and before you know it, you’ll be gaining hours time each month.
Too Many Meetings (And For Too Long)
Meeting are vital for businesses! They help to get everyone on the same page, allows for Q&A sessions and can help to motivate and inspire employees. But if you’re not careful they can turn into nothing more than long social chats which interrupt the entire day.
But don’t give up on meeting all together! Instead, keep your meetings on track with a schedule of talking points and specific start and stop time. Most importantly, make sure everyone knows these things going into the meeting so everyone can work together to stay on track. These simple things can keep your meetings from being derailed and keep your day going as planned.
Too Much Social Media
This is always a tricky one. Social media is a vital tool for online marketing success. But when you jump on Facebook to check notifications and end up watching that cute hippo video a friend posts on your personal page, there’s a problem.
Social media is an entertainment vortex, and it’s easy to constantly find yourself “just checking in” when your time could better be spent other ways. So it’s important before starting your social media rounds for the day to have a goal. Ask yourself:
- How much time should I spend on social media?
- What exactly am I doing? (Responding to comments, writing tweets, following)
- Is this what I should be doing right now?
Being Too Organized
Having a plan and sticking to a schedule is a must when trying to keep your business on track – but there is a limit. Creating a minute by minute breakdown of your day is not only time consuming, but also unrealistic. There will always be changes, priorities will shift and things will come up that you can’t plan for. Over planning means spending all this time perfecting your schedule daily, only for it to be thrown off 45 minutes into your day. This isn’t to say toss your to-do list out the window. Map out the top 2 – 5 things you want to accomplish each day and be realistic with your goals.
There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel in your business. But if you find yourself following “the right way” to do things and it’s just not working, it may be time for a change. Take for example the social media gurus. They each swear by their specific set of rules – the perfect time to post, how often you should post per day, etc. But the secret to business that nobody wants to admit is that there isn’t perfect anything. There are legitimately proven methods, but they may not work for you or might not be a good match for what you want to accomplish in your business. And the best thing you can do for your business – whether it’s marketing, workflow, management – is to try those methods and then evaluate them. Failure isn’t always a failure. It helps you to modify, adjust and can bring you closer to finding the right answer to your unique problem.