7 Time Wasters You Need to Quit in Order to Be Successful
You want to be successful. You have dreams of running your own business, and building your wealth. Maybe you’re interested in getting into affiliate marketing, or perhaps you want to build the next blockbuster ecommerce store. However, you’re stymied. You continually find that you don’t have enough time in the day to take care of everything necessary to be successful.
Here’s the thing. There’s a very good chance that the issue is not that you have too little time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, after all, and plenty of people are able to use those hours to build their success. Instead, chances are that you’re wasting the time that you have. I’ve compiled a list of time wasters that you need to quit if you’re ever going to be successful.
1. Social Media
I can hear your protests already. Social media is necessary, you say. It’s about engaging with your audience and building the right reputation. Sure, that’s true. Here’s the thing, though. You cannot afford to let yourself get sucked into the social media rabbit hole. Use it, and then leave it. Successful people don’t spend hours out of their day on non-business-related social media. This is doubly important if you haven’t yet started your business.
You might say that your time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever other platform you love is all about building your brand, but you can only do so much brand building if you don’t yet have a company. See through those excuses for what they are. Realize that you’re just only to justify bad behavior.
Cut out as much social media as possible, at least of the personal variety, and focus on building your success in other ways. Does that mean that you cannot spend any time on Facebook, or reading through updates on Twitter?
No, it doesn’t. Social networks are powerful tools for entrepreneurs. You just cannot afford to spend too much time here. How do you control your time? That’s simple. Set an alarm. Create a schedule. Make a timed to-do list using the Ricco Bello Weekly To Do Hardcover. The options are pretty much limitless. You just need to realize that 1) you ARE spending too much time on social media, and 2) you cannot build success if you’re living vicariously through your social connections.
2. Starting the Day without a Plan
Yeah, I get it. Your time is your own and you should be able to use it as you see fit. That’s absolutely true. It is your time, and you can use it however you want. With that being said, you need to realize that you also must accept the repercussions of those decisions. For instance, if you choose to go into your day without any sort of plan, you cannot expect to see any sort of success. It’s your time, but you also have to own the consequences of not using it correctly.
Instead of “winging it” and hoping for the best, it’s better to make an actual plan. Know what you want to accomplish and how you intend to get there. Break your larger goals down into smaller segments, and then those segments down into manageable chunks.
What do you need to accomplish this week? What must be done on each day to reach that goal? How will your daily and weekly goals tie into your overall strategy for building success?
It actually goes deeper than this. Not all tasks have the same value or priority. You need to create a plan for the day that organizes your tasks based on a number of factors. For instance, you might have a task that is lower in value than others on your list, but it might take more time. That should probably rank near the top because, despite its limited value, it will take more time to accomplish. Only you can determine the right order for your daily tasks. The most important thing is that you start your day with a plan. Once again, you can make your list using the Ricco Bello Weekly To Do Hardcover or you could even just make it on a blank piece of paper. Whatever works for you.
3. Trying to Do Several Things at Once
The term “multitasking” has become popular in the last few years. It’s a way of saying that you’re juggling several things at one time. Employers have started expecting employees to be able to multitask. We’re even starting to take pride in our supposed ability to do so.
Here’s the thing. Humans cannot multitask. It’s impossible. True multitasking is thinking about or doing two things simultaneously – ironing a shirt and creating next week’s work schedule at the same time, for instance. Only computers are actually capable of doing this. Human beings cannot. Even trying to multitask can have devastating consequences.
There’s a reason that truly successful people don’t preach the multitasking dogma. It’s because they know firsthand that it causes problems. By trying to do more than one thing at a time, you automatically pay less attention to each task. That means you’re more likely to make mistakes and costly errors. If you’re looking to build success, those are not things you can afford.
4. Too Many Emails
In truth, email is a wonderful thing. It’s a powerful communication tool that allows you to stay in touch with friends, family, coworkers, employees, team members and others without picking up the phone. However, it is also a massive time suck.
According to the Washington Post, we spend over four hours every single day checking our emails. That’s an incredible amount of wasted time, particularly considering that most of the emails you will be fielding are spam, or unsolicited messages. Only a small fraction of the emails we receive on a daily basis have any real value.
So, how do we cut down on this immense amount of wasted time? It’s simple, really. Schedule two times per day to check your emails, once in the morning and then once more in the afternoon. But what about those who need to get in touch urgently? If it’s really that important, the other person can text you, or call you directly. You might also invest in a platform like Slack or a similar option that allows business-related chats, but remember that this too can become a major time suck.
If there is one time suck that we all collectively loathe but seem powerless to cut out of our lives, it’s the unending series of meetings that we’re involved in. Sure, meetings can be valuable. They can help foster better communication, get everyone on the same page, and more. However, they are ultimately abused and become nothing but time wasters.
If you’re a business owner, then chances are good that you have plenty of more important things to do than to sit in yet another meeting. If you’re going to meetings so that you can be included or so that you can get information you need, have reports created and delivered to you. Only go to meetings if you must be there to give your personal feedback.
Even for non-business owners, traditional meetings are a tremendous waste of time. Instead of lengthy meetings every week, consider doing something informal like a morning huddle where information can be exchanged quickly, in a less formal environment.
6. Worrying about Things Outside Your Control
Life is filled with the unknown, with the potential for things to go sideways at the drop of the hat. I get that. What I don’t get is people who spend all their time worrying about things that they cannot control. This is a massive waste of both time and energy. It’s emotionally and mentally draining. It leaves you with less time to focus on things that really matter, things where you actually have some degree of control.
What are you supposed to do about the myriad threats out there in the world? How are you supposed to insulate your success from those issues? First, realize that you have control only over some things. Identify those, and focus on them. For the rest, all you can do is plan and be watchful. Know what is possible, and know how you will handle such a situation if and when it arises. Then, go about your life as normal. There is no sense in worrying about something that MIGHT happen at some point in the future. You have enough on your hands right now.
7. Traveling for Business
Travel for pleasure can be an amazing thing. Traveling for business? Not so much. Sure, it seems romantic on the surface, but the truth is that it is a huge waste of time. You’ve got all that downtime on the airplane or in the car. You’re out of touch with things in the office. You’re not involved in important projects in the office while you’re out.
Today, there really is no reason that you should have to travel. Need to confer with your counterpart in Tokyo? Fire up Skype. Need to touch base with staff in a remote location? Use Slack or Trello. Of course, there are times when you must be physically present in a different location, and you’ll need to travel for those.
These seven time wasters can suck away your ability to be successful. Cut them out of your life and you’ll have more time for what matters. I would also like to invite you to sign up for my NEW 'Six Figure Sunday' course (click here to sign up), where I’ll teach you everything you need to know to create a six-figure income while working only a single day each week.