Stop Wasting Time!

Eboni S. Cotton

Eboni S. Cotton

Founder and CEO, ESC Business Management Solutions

How many times this month did you get to the 10 o’clock night-time hour and say “ugh, I wish I had more time”?  Because likely, your to-do list still isn’t complete, you’re exhausted and now you have to decide to burn the midnight oil or catch some zzzzz’s and push the rest off til tomorrow.

Listen, we’ve all been there…myself included! 
But many times what we don’t realize is there are so many opportunities to save time throughout the day that’s right in front of us.  What I’ve discovered in my own life and with my clients, there are 3 main areas where we simply, waste time!
As entrepreneurs we have ALOT on our plates, but wouldn’t you rather close the computer at 5pm instead of 12am?
So, let’s chat about these 3 time wasters and how we can change that….

Time Waster #1:  Manual Work
The manual work you do in your business day-to-day can more than DOUBLE the time it would take if you had automation! Think about how much more productive you could be, revenue you could make and time you could get back if you automated processes using the right systems. Not to mention having a better client experience overall with consistent communication and increased response times. It’s a Win, Win!
And I get it, you had to start somewhere so doing things manually made sense at some point.  But now its become a huge time suck and you know it – you just don’t have the time and resources to fix it.
Sound familiar? 
So take a look at your processes, identify where things are highly manually and determine a system (or systems) that can help you streamline and automate.  Operations + systems are my jam, so if you need help let me know.
Time Waster #2:  Distractions
You probably guessed this one, right?  It’s the one area we know for sure are time wasters yet we have the hardest time solving – especially with social media (just saying!)
There’s so much “noise” that we experience throughout the day – between working from home, kids, activities, our phones, the internet and I’ll say again…social media!  We can’t help but get distracted dozens of times daily.
So listen, stop scrolling and implement a couple (or all) of these time saving tips to reduce distractions:

  1. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb (DND) throughout the day to focus on tasks
  2. Schedule a CEO Day to have dedicated time to work on your business vs. being sporadic throughout the week
  3. Batch content and schedule social media posts – prevents you from scrolling after you post and get more content done during periods when your mind is creatively focused
  4. Time block your schedule – set aside blocks of dedicated time to do specific tasks or work on client accounts with small breaks in between (actually block off your calendar)
  5. Set office hours for your clients and/or staff – so you’re breaking focus, starting and stopping tasks to handle client/staff requests all day

Time Waster #3:  Lack of Clarity
You may saying, lack of clarity – how is this a time waster?  Glad you asked, here’s how…

When don’t have clear direction and clarity of purpose you will swirl, baby will you swirl.  You go down rabbit holes looking for information, bouncing from platform to platform…person to person…or may just fall into the ”distraction” area because your motivation is shot trying to figure it out.  In those moments of bouncing around valuable time is being wasted.  You’re either spending hours looking in the wrong direction or sitting aimlessly unfocused and unsure so nothing gets accomplished anyway.
So how do you get clarity?  Spend some time journaling on why you do what you do to begin with.  Then really dig into establishing your visionmission and core values.  These 4 areas are critical to setting a strong foundation and getting you on the right journey so you can stop walking in circles.  Once those are set, determine your goals and create an action plan to achieve them.
I have a great opportunity to help you in this area, contact me to let me know if you’re interested in knowing more.
It’s amazing to witness the transformation in your business when you get clarity.  You save time, reach your goals faster and just overall feel great about making good progress. 
So, which of these 3 time wasters do you struggle with the most?
I’d love to know and if you’re going to try one of the solutions mentioned. If so, do me a favor – leave a comment and let me know.  My goal is always to provide value for you to succeed in business.  If you’d like to know more on how I do that and can support you, I’d love to chat.

Eboni S. Cotton is the owner and CEO of ESC Business Management Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning and operations for businesses and organizations. With over 15 years of experience, she is a certified project manager (PMP) and lean six sigma green belt who assists businesses in actionable planning, process optimization and continuous improvement. Eboni is committed to helping businesses achieve exceptional results.