How to stop wasting time and run a more productive business

Time is money in the business. But in an increasingly complex world, how can we organize things and stop wasting time?
Nigel Seah
Nigel Seah

Digital Marketing Executive

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How to stop wasting time and run a more productive business

21.8 hours per week. That’s how much time people waste on average. That’s a lot.

And as business people, we know the good ol’ saying all too way. Time is money. If you are still doing important tasks like outbound cold calling or scheduling a demo manually, stop 🙅🏾🙅‍♂️

Engaging in accelerated sales processes is key to improving sales productivity and shortening sales cycles.

But before I delve into why you may be wasting your time and how we can turn that around 😊

Why do business people end up wasting my time?

Lack of motivation

According to PsychologyToday, motivation is one of the factors that influences your productivity levels. An individual’s internal and external motivation has a significant effect on their productivity.

Internal motivation comes from within. It is when a person engages in particular behaviors for the purpose of bettering oneself. External motivation, on the other hand, is when an individual engages in that particular activity to achieve some form of reward or avoidance of punishment.

It is essential that business leaders have very clear motivations for doing what they do. And as we’ve established before, starting and running a business isn’t easy. Which brings me to my next point.

Unsure of a clear vision and mission

As business leaders, you need to have a very clear vision and mission.

What do you wish to accomplish by building this product? What business problem do you hope to solve with your business? Why did you start this business in the first place?

A lack of a clear vision can significantly reduce the motivation you feel and make you more unproductive. After all, if there’s no good reason to do something, why do it at all?

It’s no wonder that companies that have no clearly communicated vision and mission have unproductive employees. Imagine the amount of time your employees could have saved if you’d just have a well-defined vision and mission statement.

This is also important because having a clear vision and mission helps you identify the list of activities you need to complete. This in turn helps you create a roadmap that helps map out the steps that will lead your team to achieve your goals.

Fear of failure

Running a business and its operations, raising funds for it, pitching your product to big companies, all these activities have high stakes in them. And it’s normal to be afraid.

In fact, the fear of failure is an “emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reaction to the negative consequences you anticipate for failing to achieve a goal.”

While fear is generally necessary for survival (if you fear poisonous spiders, would you touch them?), it can hinder your progress and you end up wasting time ruminating on all the negativity.

When you experience this, it is essential that you acknowledge how you feel and take active steps to work on your emotions.

How can you stop wasting time?

Eliminate all distractions

This comes as no surprise.

Back in 2019, internet users spend 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on social media. Meanwhile, according to this infographic, the average employee admits to wasting 3 hours per 8 hour workday. Think about the overlap between these numbers.

The average worker admits to wasting 3 hours per 8-hour workday.

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of your teammates waste a bulk of their time on social media.

You can use a variety of social media blocker apps that can help block your access to social media for a period of time and help you be more productive.

Have a clear vision and mission in mind

The first step to improving your productivity is to establish a clear vision and mission in mind. It helps you create a clear direction that you should take.

You can try aligning your personal goals with this.

For instance, what kind of external factors can help increase the external motivation you feel? Is it that seed funding you want to raise? Is it that big deal you want to secure?

Aligning the personal factors that can help improve your motivation and your company’s mission and vision can go a long way in helping you improve your productivity and reduce time wastage.

List down the core activities you need to complete

Now that you’ve established your vision and mission, list down the core activities you need to complete to achieve that goal.

You can break it down into the different overall tasks your various business functions need to complete.

Let’s take Novocall as an example. If our mission and vision were to supercharge your personal phone with business phone functions:

  • Our marketing team would need to build a brand image around our vision and mission
  • Our product team would need to conduct market research on potential features and validate them before building them
  • Our tech team would then need to build the features and product
  • Our sales team would need to set sales targets

Once you’ve determined the core activities your various business functions would need to complete, it’s time to break them down further into smaller subtasks.

Break down core activities into smaller tasks

Now that you’ve decided which core business activities your company needs to engage in.

For example, in the section above, we established that Novocall’s marketing team would need to build a brand image around our vision and mission. And how do we do that? What are some of the tasks we can further break this down into:

  • Blog content that establishes Novocall as a thought leader in our field
  • Write case studies that show that we’ve been able to help customers supercharge their phones and achieve great results

Again, I’d like to emphasize that listing down the activities you need to complete is crucial for planning out a roadmap that leads to your goals.

Once your employees are clear on what they need to do, you’ll start seeing people waste time on unexpected tasks and become more productive overall.

Plan out the timeline for each task

Once all the tasks have been identified, you need to plan out a timeline.

There are a variety of tools out there that can help you accomplish this. We use Notion at Novocall. But you can check out others in the market. These include Trello, Asana, and monday.com.

Project management tools like monday.com helps improve collaboration between teams and helps businesses keep track of progress.
Project management tools like monday.com help improve collaboration and keep track of progress.

These project management tools can help you improve collaboration between teams and keep track of your progress and deadlines.

Automate time-consuming business activities

Many business activities are super time-consuming. Some of these include making cold calls and scheduling meetings.

TimeSync is a meeting scheduling tool that helps automate the meeting scheduling process.

For example, meeting scheduler TimeSync helps automate the meeting scheduling process. The software is integrated with your personal scheduler.

All you need to do is send your booking link and recipients can select the timings they want to book an appointment with you!

Also, many businesses fail to properly organize and manage their databases. But with DBMS Software (Database Management Systems), you can keep your data clear and secure avoiding repetitive tasks.

Use productivity hacks

There are many tools out there that help you save even more time on simple tasks

Can’t remember your login password?

Use password managers like LastPass and Bitwarden. They help you store passwords to your various website accounts. With these, you no longer need to need to waste time resetting passwords or accessing your password excel sheet.

Need to convey important information and instructions, use asynchronous video tools like Loom.

Loom helps you to record videos to help you relay information.

Instead of wasting time typing out a long email or text message, use Loom to record videos of yourself explaining something and send the link to your recipient. This can help you save tons of time that would otherwise have been wasted writing long messages.

Don’t keep too many browser tabs open

Many people don’t even pay attention to this point. How many times have you spent minutes trying to find the tabs you are currently using for your work?

While this may seem insignificant to you, cumulatively, you can end up wasting a lot of time unnecessarily. Cut out this practice from your work and you’ll start saving more time.

Also, having too many tabs open can slow down your computer. So that’s even more time wasted.

You can also use a Gmail desktop app to eliminate the need to keep multiple tabs open.

Conclusion

And that’s it!

I hope you’ve picked up a thing or two about how you can stop wasting time and improve your business’s productivity levels.

For more sales and marketing-related tips, subscribe to our blog below 👇👇👇

Nigel Seah
Nigel Seah

Nigel is a Digital Marketing Executive at Novocall where he specializes in SEO. Prior to this, he had written for several SaaS companies including Workstream and the now defunct Hatchme. In his free time, he engages in strength training and is a lover of languages.

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