Avoid the “Suck” in “Time Suck”

timesuckOne thing I have definitely learned as a business owner is that you need to avoid what is not going to be the best use of your time. At the end of the day, you do need to get billable hours in or explore valid business opportunities. I know many people are under the impression that I goof off a majority of the time, but the fact of the matter is, owning your own company allows you to do so, but I do have bills to pay just like everyone else. Here are a couple of “time-suck” avoidance tips.

The blah, blah, blah … oh please shut up … “time suck.”  Nothing would irritate more in my corporate life is when I was dragged into irrelevant meetings further adding to my already over-scheduled self. I remember one three-hour meeting in particular I sat through and my only reason for being was to share my thoughts on roof tile color. Really?! Could this have been discussed prior?  Corporate-wise I got pretty smart after that one, and went into meeting consolidation mode, finding out if I really needed to be there or taking the divide-and-conquer approach with the rest of the team. Divide and conquer usually meant the VP telling me he wasn’t going and I was, but I did win a couple on occasion. 

When the meal is on you, watch out for the freeloaders “time” AND “money suck.”  For you entrepreneurs out there, beware the client who demands multiple dinners at five-star restaurants to have the same conversation repeated over and over, to find out they are not even the decision maker. Can you hear the sucking noise on the wallet too? My advice here is:  1. Make sure you are meeting with the “right” person. 2. Establish the objective of the meeting prior to the appointment time and 3. Determine action steps to take as necessary.  Avoiding the meeting “time suck” will make you more effective and your bank account will not suffer too. 

The La-La-Land “Time Suck” (a.k.a., social media).  I deserve a little bit of a slap on the wrists here as I do tend to be logged into Facebook all day, but I do use it for business reasons as well as fun. For example, I update my status to attract new clients. Avoid surfing Facebook all day looking for new social groups to join such as I own a Hyundai – no joke, there is a Hyundai group on Facebook but that brilliantly was started by a Hyundai parts shop owner.  Use social media to effectively get back to your tasks at hand. If you are spending a better part of your morning reading about Sara drinking coffee and Bobby being in a meeting, you fall into the Social Media “time-suck” category. 

The Magic Kingdom “time suck.” I know there is a part of every job that you do not enjoy doing. I can imagine that even the Disneyland actors have bad days too.  One of my girlfriends used to work for Disney and had to answer the phone with, “It is a magical day at Disneyland, how can I help you?” Personally, I don’t think I could have lasted a day at the Disneyland Corporation – probably due to being fired because I refused to say it is a magical day when my son woke up at 4am. Anyway, my point is outsource (or delegate if possible) what you do not like doing.  For me … accounting.  You will have more time doing what you enjoy, thus more productive, and more results. 

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