6 Time-Wasting Mistakes to Eliminate (and my Secret Time-Wasting Eliminator Weapon)
If you’re anything like me, as an entrepreneur or freelancer you probably are constantly thinking of ways you can save time and be more productive.
The productive entrepreneur is always looking for ways to eliminate distractions and ‘time sucks’ from their day. Not only do time-wasting activities drain your time, but they sap your energy too.
Every single day, our energy is finite. No matter how relaxing an activity is, you can rest assured that you’re using energy being engaged in it. Preserving your energy and saving your time will allow you to do the best possible work which improves your life.
Let’s look at the most common time-wasting mistakes to get rid of first.
1. Social media
Spending inordinate amounts of time on social media is a sure-fire way to fail in business… and in life, for that matter.
You don’t really get anything from social media. That’s the hard truth. Since you’re not paying for it, you can bet that you’re the commodity. To be specific, your attention is the commodity… and it’s a severe cost to your business and life.
Social media companies are making billions of dollars from your attention, and at your expense. Where your attention goes, your energy goes. Do NOT use social media during your working hours and try to limit daily use to about 20 minutes a day.
Procrastination is the enemy of success. On any given day, you MUST know what important tasks you should be completing. This is work that will improve your business and have a positive impact on your life.
Once you know what these tasks are, you NEED to do them. You must begin on them, instead of trying to complete other tasks first. Being busy with what’s not important is also a form of procrastination and a time waster. Do what matters.
3. Deciding on meals
Every single day, millions of people waste time and energy trying to figure out what they will eat for that day. This can lead to decision fatigue.
Spend an hour on Sunday and plan your meals for the week. You might be preparing your own meals or eating out. Whatever the case, you must know what you’re eating for that day so that you’ll not need to think about it on that day.
Ideally, it’s best to have a short, light lunch at the desk. Sandwiches are perfect. Heavy meals lead to sluggishness and your work may be compromised. Lighter meals also mean that you’re less likely to gain weight. There are lots of good programs that can help with easy menu planning.
4. Too many unfinished tasks
A common mistake many entrepreneurs make is to start on new projects when they’ve not completed an old one. This is a form of procrastination too.
They’re reluctant to complete the ‘difficult’ tasks in the old project, so they begin a new one to feel like they’re doing something. They waste their time and after a while, they have a ton of unfinished projects which occupy their mind and discombobulates them.
Write down all your tasks. Then finish them up, one at a time. Do not work on several different tasks at the same time. Take each project to completion before starting on a new one.
5. Not batching your tasks
Grouping your work by activity will help you complete the work faster. For example, if you’re creating a series of posts for your blog, you’ll want to plan it all out first. Then you’ll do all your research. When that’s done, you’ll write all the posts.
Then you’ll proofread the lot… and finally you’ll schedule and publish them. The tasks are batched.
You’ll not be researching and writing and publishing the first post… only to go back and repeat the process for the second post… and third and so on. This is an inefficient use of your time.
6. Productivity Tools
This may not be something you think about but another mistake entrepreneurs make is not utilizing productivity resources and tools.
Some entrepreneurs may shy away from utilizing software, productivity tools, etc. because feel intimidated by them. Or, they don’t have time to learn how to use the tool. Trust me, I get it! Sure enough, there can be a learning curve but in the long run these tools will save you time and help you run your business better. Be willing to test out different tools and resources to see if they are right for your business or can help you be more productive or efficient in some way.
And that brings me to my number one time-eliminating tool that I love. Thank you to whoever thought of it! I cannot live without this top productivity tool. It saves me so much time and keeps me focused.
Let’s take a closer look at what this productivity tool can do for you. It’s a desktop app for streamlining all of your accounts, apps, and workflows in one place.
The app streamlines Gmail, Calendar, Drive and all the rest, across all your accounts. You will be able to manage all of our Outlook, OneDrive, and Microsoft Team accounts all in one as well.
You can also access multiple Google and Microsoft Accounts as the app lets you connect all of your Gmail, Outlook and Office 365 accounts and manage everything from one centralized workstation. Toggle between your most-used accounts, check notifications and streamline your workflow.
I think this is my favorite feature. You can connect all of your apps & chrome extensions! There’s over 1500 apps you can add so I’m sure all or at the least, most of your favorite apps can be found. When I say apps I mean WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger, etc. You will have and be able to operate all of your apps in one centralized location inside the productivity tool. The list of apps and extensions that you can integrate with Shift is impressive. All of the popular ones can be added inside the app such as all the social media platforms. But there’s also ones like Agorapolse, Alexa, Airbnb, Airtable, LastPass, Acuity, 17Hats, Amazon, And.co, Canva, Asana, DocuSign, Dubsado, Evernote, Etsy, Fiverr, Convertkit, Teachable, Zoom, Later, and the list goes on. Like I said there are over 1500 apps you can add and more to come. Don’t see an app you want to add within your productivity tool dashboard? You can send them an email and they will look into including it! I am not even touching the surface of the apps you can integrate into Shift to have all your accounts, apps, etc. all in one place never again having to open tab after tab to access each app or website to get to what you need. Can we say Gamechanger? The easy access to all your apps in one place makes utilizing this tool a no brainer!
You can also find anything across your accounts saving time and finding exactly what you’re looking for across any of your Mail, Calendar, and Drive accounts.
So, did I mention chrome extensions? Whatever Chrome extensions you enjoy you can add them to this desktop/laptop app. Imagine having all of your email accounts, apps, social media accounts, chrome extensions, and web tabs and pages all in one? What Chrome extensions do you use now? There’s a huge list of extensions to choose from. The ones I use a lot are Grammarly, LastPass, Zoom scheduler, Add to Trello, and Evernote Web Clipper.
If you have a team you can create a Workspace with the exact apps, tabs, and bookmarks you need. Then share it with your team to get the job done.
Lat but not least, you can also access the web from inside the productivity tool. I like managing my tabs and organizing them by account for a better browsing experience.
If reading this excites you and you’re ready to save time, be more productive, and become more focused, then I encourage you to give this tool a try. There’s a free plan which is great, but it does come with limitations. If you just have a couple of accounts and only want to utilize one app and not be able to utilize all the time-saving and productive features then this might be all you need.
But if you want the full advantage and experience you will probably want to take advantage of the yearly plan which is under $10 a month when you break it down. With the paid plan you can sign up for the Advanced or Teams plan. Both offer full features, but the Team plan offers 2 more features that aren’t a part of the Advanced plan which is consolidated billing and a Team Management Dashboard. But if you don’t have a team or just want to utilize this app yourself, then the Advanced is all you need.
The Advanced or Team plan is where you can put as many accounts and apps as you want in the tool. With the free plan you can only have 2 accounts and 1 app.
So there you have it. If you want to be productive, have cluttered desktop woes and want to easily manage multiple email accounts and all of your apps in one platform then this is for you. It’s an all in one solution.
Here’s a glimpse of what the App looks like once you download it on your desktop or laptop.
At first glance it looks like it’s just an email box. But take a look around at the icons on the outskirts. That’s where the real magic is as it’s where your apps, extensions, web tabs, other email accounts, etc. are located.
Now let’s recap what this productivity tool offers:
- password saver
- tasks management
- chrome extensions
- All emails accounts in one
- Web access from inside the App. Manage your tabs and organize them by account for a better browsing experience
- Workspace Creation-Create a Workspace with the exact apps, tabs, and bookmarks you need
These 6 time-wasting mistakes are just a few of many. There are many other time wasters such as watching TV excessively, not having a to-do list, spending time going through clutter, taking on unnecessary work and so on.
The list is too long to mention. A rule of thumb is to analyze your life. Spend a week tracking your activities every hour, daily.
Then look at your activities and see where you’re letting ‘time-wasters’ creep in. These will vary from individual to individual… but you’ll know where you’re slipping up.
From there, it’s just a matter of eliminating these distractions and tightening up your daily routine. In time to come, you’ll be highly efficient, productive and have more time to enjoy life.
Need more help with productivity? If you want to level up and become more productive than ever before, learn and implement other time management tools. This course teaches you how to use Trello, Basecamp, Nozbe, Asana, and Slack for project management and productivity.