This might surprise you, considering I’m the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company, but even I have struggled with distractions at work. For me, the worst time-suckers were Facebook, Skype and my email.
I know how tempting it is to check your messages, browse through your friends’ photos and catch up on email notifications while you’re really supposed to be doing something else. The problem is, it’s not just a few minutes you lose; it might be 15 minutes in an hour and several hours in the week.
Believe me; when you let yourself waste time with distractions, you’ll never put into effect the kind of growth you want to achieve in your small business.
Here’s How I’ve Been Dealing with Distractions Online
I went right to the source of my distractions and cut myself off. I had my Facebook password changed by my assistant so I can’t even get in unless I ask her specifically for the new code. I don’t think anyone wants to admit to their assistant that they desperately need to access Facebook 20 minutes after changing the password. Now, thanks to my unusual solution, I find that I don’t log in as much.
The next problem was Skype. All MOBE staff is connected to their various departments and teams via Skype so you can imagine how many times it beeps all day long. Fighting the urge to follow each conversation and issue is just about impossible. So, I’ve started turning Skype off. I’ve even started logging out of Gmail so that it isn’t so easy for me to just click and check my emails.
Wasting Time Won’t Get You Anywhere
A stunning 89 percent of employees surveyed by Salary.com in 2014 admitted to wasting time at work. At 62 percent, the majority of time wasters lose 30 minutes to an hour each day, while 2 percent say they waste 5 hours or more! I sympathize very much with those people’s bosses. So much can be achieved in 5 hours.
If you’re serious about setting up your own small business and creating financial freedom for yourself, time wastage like that will lead you into debt really quickly. On the other hand, all of us need to take some time for ourselves just to browse the internet and check our social networks.
Here’s what I suggest: Take 30 minutes a day for social media and other non-work-related online browsing. You can even spread it out over the course of the day if you like. Thirty minutes is a good solid chunk of time that feels satisfying yet doesn’t heavily harm your schedule.
Manage Your Time Effectively So You Have Time to Waste
Nobody’s asking you to work 12 hours a day—or at least he or she shouldn’t be. As long as you make a business plan and tackle important tasks each day, your business should be in good shape. Time management is a huge part of entrepreneurial success, so if you have a scattered schedule, it’s time to get organized.
For me, getting distracted just doesn’t cut it during my workday. I like to put off signing into Gmail or checking Skype (or asking my assistant for my Facebook password) until I’ve finished the main tasks of the day. Then, I can do whatever I want.
Jackson Brown, Jr. said, “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
If you leave your online distractions open throughout the day, they’ll just be massive time suckers—and you’re the one who’s going to end up paying for it.