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How to Identify Time Stealers

Time is a non-tangible asset that is often undervalued. The time you waste on things that don’t matter has a ripple effect on the things that do matter. As a business owner, you need to identify the tasks that steal your time. Not knowing what these things are will be costly to you and your business.

The best way to determine these time stealers is by asking specific questions in relation to your daily work activities. Let’s look at some of them.

What are the things you consider to be menial tasks?

Among all the things you do daily, which ones seem menial to you? By this I mean tasks that are necessary but not entirely productive. It looks indispensable but the truth is you can get away with just spending a few minutes on it or not doing it for an entire day! In fact, it won’t even make a difference if you allot less time on these tasks.

How much of your time gets hijacked by menial tasks?

Let’s look at this in terms of percentage. For example, you spend 30% of your day checking emails. That’s a pretty huge chunk of your time. Or if you spend 30% of your day approving documents that can be done by your managers, you’re devoting too much time on things that can be delegated or done more efficiently.

What gets sacrificed because of those menial tasks?

Do you have a pending list of things to do that never gets ticked off for the longest time? Maybe it’s a new product or service that you’ve been meaning to launch but you never had the chance to just sit down, research, brainstorm, or even travel to get some inspiration. Maybe it’s a performance management system that you want to rollout but never found the time to do so. Look at your wish list for your organization and see if you’re making progress. If nothing’s happening then it’s time to invest more time on them!

How often do you go home late in order to complete the important tasks you need to do?

Do you have to wait for everyone to go home just so you can work alone without disturbance? Are you sacrificing some personal time to do what you think is important to your business? If you answer every day or something close to that then you’ve allowed those time stealers to consume most of your day, leaving you with almost nothing for the things that matter.

Time stealers don’t usually present themselves as such. They hide under the guise of logical things to do that are mostly part of your daily routine. However, these seemingly perennial tasks don’t really give you the tangible output you want and need for your organization. You need to arrest these time thieves and put them away for good!

If you need more info on how to do this, drop me a line here. There are many tools that can help you accomplish more by doing less. I’d be happy to answer any question you may have!



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