As an online entrepreneur, you have to be wary of insidious traps that waste your time. These traps can rob you of your energy, focus, and time if you allow them. They are beguiling but harmful; alluring. You need to know they exist, block them, and stay alert.
These are 10 insidious traps that waste online entrepreneurs’ time and how to deal with them.
Many online entrepreneurs waste a lot of time reading and responding to emails. You might be surprised to learn that you spend about 2 hours daily on email.
It is advisable to limit the amount of time you spend on email. Set aside a few minutes to check your email and respond to your emails.
Also make sure you delete the spam that sneaks through and try and unsubscribe from the stuff you really don’t need.
There are times you are searching for important things only to end up surfing the web. This is especially the case when you open your social media accounts.
Make sure you track your time online. You cannot know you have a problem unless you measure it. After knowing the extent of online surfing, you should take steps to limit it.
Only surf the web when looking for important information. Avoid stopping by to check social media updates. Ensure your social media accounts are logged out always. Be a creator and a producer not a scroller.
Research has shown that online entrepreneurs spend most of their time on meetings. Some meetings are a must. However, you should ensure they are short.
Understand when a meeting is necessary and when it is time-wasting.
Although it is necessary to get status updates, getting them through email is better than scheduling a meeting. Schedule for a meeting if only there is confusion.
When you call a meeting, make sure you send the agenda in advance. This ensures everyone is aware of what is required and all involved persons can prepare. In other words, you not just hanging out.
The work looks good, but it can be made better. Why not change the font? This is what is called perfectionism. You should avoid it at all costs.
The truth is that nearly everything can be improved by doing some tweaks. If you believe the task you were doing is nearly complete, you can set it aside and have a look after a day or later.
Remember, done is better then perfect.
Some online entrepreneurs like the DIY route. Although you are your own boss, it does not mean everything should be done by you. For instance, you want to be the writer, editor, designer, and SEO expert.
If you find you are not good at something, you need to learn how to do it. Unfortunately, this will end up taking a lot of your time.
Learn to delegate some tasks. This will free up a lot of your time. Determine some of the tasks that can be done by your employees and assign them with deadlines. Some tasks like accounting can be done by online systems, such as QuickBooks.
Being online, there are also many freelancers and digital virtual assistants. The cost of these is well worth the time it can free it up for tedious tasks.
Constantly Looking for New Processes and Vendors
Sometimes you feel you are not getting the best services and prices. It is a good idea to carry out a periodic audit to find vendors that can offer better terms. Also, you might need to consolidate services with a single provider. This will make it easier to manage your bills and relationships.
Unfortunately, new processes come with a learning curve. Thus, you should not just try something new just because you need change.
Instead of wasting time looking for new processes and vendors, hire someone to do the legwork for you.
Very few people are natural organizers. Studies have shown that online entrepreneurs waste a lot of time because they are not organized.
Most people have not learned organizational skills that can help them deal with increasing demands and workloads.
Make sure you are always organized. This will reduce the amount of time you spend searching for missing documents.
Remember, you are a product of your environment.
Not Taking Breaks
It is a fact that you cannot concentrate for over 90 minutes without taking a break. Most online entrepreneurs are known to work for long hours without taking a break. Unfortunately, you will end up spending extra time on tasks.
For you to stay productive and focused, you should take routine breaks. This will ensure you are always refreshed and with renewed energy to tackle your tasks. Also, this will protect you against burnout.
Even take a few minutes to stretch can help.
Procrastinating is a time sucker. When left unattended, it becomes a vicious cycle that can leave you unproductive and demotivated.
You can avoid procrastination by breaking your working time into small manageable chunks. Try to do your least enjoyable tasks in the morning.
Doing multiple things at the same time is counterproductive. Studies have shown that multitasking makes you less productive. This is because you need to switch between tasks instead of focusing on a single task at a time. Also, it can harm your brain.