5 Hidden ‘Time Thieves’ In Your Business: And How To Stop Them
Your time is precious. When it comes to running your business, time is more important than ever. You may sometimes feel that there are not enough hours in the day, but did you know that this feeling could be due to ‘time thieves’?
Time thieves are not people. They are the items, ‘to dos’, conflicting priorities, or inefficient processes that are hindering the function of your business. They may not be as disruptive as major problems are, but they can become just as serious if left unchecked.
Common ‘time thieves’ are almost always responsible for the lost minutes, hours, and even days in your business — and will seriously obstruct the optimal running of a company, whether large or small.
But help is at hand. Below, we take a look at five of the most common ‘time thieves’ in business, and what you can do to solve them. With a few actionable tips, your company can function in the most time-efficient way possible!
1. Unpaid Invoices And Owed Monies
Chasing debts, unpaid invoices, and payments that are owed to you is not only time-consuming, it is also stressful. It can be difficult to stay on top of owed payments, especially if they are owed by different companies on several different projects.
It can be complex and inconvenient to continually circle back to contacts, asking to be updated on the progress of the payment and when you can expect to receive it. Many companies and freelancers across a wide range of industries have dealt with the disruption of owed monies.
One of the best ways to reclaim your time — and your money — is by enlisting the help of debt collection professionals such as ours. We can approach the situation in a polite, effective, and efficient way — recovering your money and saving you time in the process.
Disrupted cashflow can also become a ‘time thief’ in itself. Recovering your unpaid monies is vital for restoring the cashflow and overall efficiency of your business.
2. A Lack Of Regular Reviews
Regularly reviewing the performance and processes of your business may seem time-consuming, but in reality, it is not completing these reviews which costs you more time than ever.
Regular reviews enable you to assess what is working well in your business, and what needs improvement – thereby allowing you to adapt to any challenges or problems. Reviews also allow you to identify and solve small issues before they have the chance to become major problems.
Consider investing in a full audit, or in regular professional reviews such as the ones we offer at MP Consulting – these can give you greater perspective and insights on your business, which will save you time and money overall.
3. Unnecessary Meetings
In-person meetings are sometimes necessary. But most employers and employees agree that unnecessary meetings — such as those that could have easily been communicated via email — are a serious drain on time and resources.
In-person meetings may require additional travel, synchronising of several calendars, and resources such as video cameras for remote meetings and so on.
If the same information can be conveyed effectively via email — when everyone can check it at a time which suits them — consider using this method and save lots of time as a result.
4. Overlap In Projects
One particular ‘time thief’ which is often overlooked is neglecting to leave sufficient time between projects. Leaving a gap (when possible) allows you to anticipate any problems or issues which may need to be revisited, re-examined, or reconsidered.
Also, leaving no gaps between projects often means that one project is not completed before another is started, which leads to conflicting priorities and too much work in progress to effectively focus on any one thing.
If circumstances allow, leave small but effective gaps between individual projects to allow for troubleshooting, lost time, and perhaps even vital rest periods.
5. Decision Fatigue
‘Decision fatigue’ is the relatively recent concept that suggests we only have a finite number of effective decisions we can make during a certain period of time. After that, our decisions and judgement become increasingly poor.
To combat this, many businesses and entrepreneurs have begun automating processes as much as possible. It can also be helpful to rely on routines and set processes in certain areas of your operations, in order to reduce the need for conscious decision-making.
If you can reduce the amount of decisions you need to make on a daily basis, you will leave yourself free to make the most creative and effective decisions when it really matters.