As an entrepreneur, every single minute of your day is extremely valuable because of limited resources: time, talent and treasure.
Sometimes your work environment and personal habits can waste precious time without you knowing. Here are seven common distractions that kill productivity:
1. Social Media
Facebook status updates, tweets and Instagram pictures are a great way to stay connected to your target audience. However, they can also suck valuable time from your day.
Our culture is addicted to social media therefore schedule time for this purpose.
2. Cell phones
Not only are phone calls and text messages a major distraction, but most of us have social apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on our smartphones. While putting the phone on silent mode is better, it may vibrate across your desk, eventually peaking your interest and causing you to check it.
To eliminate distractions, turn off your phone or set it on airplane mode while you work.
3. Chaotic work environment
Your office environment can be a major distraction when you are trying to get work done. It is important to have quiet space when it is time to get down to business.
Establish a schedule open-door policy whereby your door is open for employees on a certain day at certain hours. You can also put a small whiteboard on your office door, so team members can leave you a note about what they need when the door is closed.
4. Email refresh syndrome
Many entrepreneurs spend their entire day responding to emails. Ever find yourself constantly hitting the refresh button to get your email? Set it on auto-refresh every 30 or 60 minutes. You can then quickly scan your inbox and respond to urgent matters accordingly and address the rest at scheduled times.
You could respond to emails first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, and before you leave your office. This will help you keep current and end that disruptive refresh syndrome behavior.
5. Internet browsing
It is very easy to view a particular website for what you think will take a minute, only for several minutes or even hours to pass.
Checking sports scores, reading your favorite blog and keeping track of the most recent shenanigans can wait. Leave the Internet browsing work to the nine-to-fivers. (No offense to our working friends)
6. Taking unscheduled appointments
Not only will taking unscheduled appointments cut into your productivity for the day, but it also sends a message to the particular individual that your time is not valuable.
Emergencies can pop up but they shouldn't be the order of the day. Set aside a day to have scheduled meetings so that you focus better.
7. Unexpected friends and family office visits
You are an entrepreneur, which means that you most likely have friends and family that think you sit around all day barking orders as you sip on a tropical drink while being fanned.
Unexpected visits take away your ‘production’ and sets a bad example. Plan social time with family and friends when you are out of the office.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. You should always ask yourself this question: "Is this the best use of my time at this moment?"
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