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Are business owners spending too much time on noncritical tasks?

Posted by Shivali Anand

October 1, 2021    |     3-minute read (572 words)

You're probably busier than you've ever been as an entrepreneur, and there are many days when you sacrifice family time and sleep to make your business reach new heights.

This is a frequent scenario among business owners, but there are some areas of your company where you may be spending more time than necessary. What matters is that you understand where those pockets are and how to find solutions.

Examine how you're spending time

The first step in determining how you spend your time is to conduct a self-audit of what you do during the day. This may be accomplished by writing things down or by utilizing an app to log your everyday activities. Observe this for a few days, or better yet, a week.

In addition to documenting how you spend your work time, examine how you spend your free time. Although many of us claim to have no spare time, some researchers suggest that this is not always the case.

In black and white

As per a report published in September 2019 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans enjoy more than five hours of leisure time every day on average. If you're thinking, "Yes, but it doesn't apply to me," the research found that none of the study’s subgroups relayed that they had less than 4.5 hours of idle time daily.

Assuming the time is available, you must concentrate on what you are doing with it. According to the research, much of that time is spent on "screen time" or gazing at TVs, phones, or tablets. This is distinct from the screen time that you are required to complete for work. According to the research, "leisure" screen time accounted for two hours and 55 minutes of women's days and three hours and 31 minutes of men's days.

If you can identify how you use your spare time, you might be able to trade part of that "leisure" screen time for catching up on work emails or other duties.

Assessing your work time analysis

You may begin to discover potential areas after you have a solid sense of how you have been spending your leisure time and working day. Entrepreneurs typically spend a lot of time on non-core duties – these are the periods of time each day that they devote to things that aren't genuinely helping their company develop. If non-core responsibilities take up more than 5% of your day, it may be time to find a solution.

Non-core duties can relate to any areas that aren't directly contributing to the success of your company and can include, among other things, the following:
  • Staff training and management 
  • IT support 
  • Tax law research 
  • Inbound marketing 
  • Social media 
  • Payroll
  • Customer service
  • Invoice payment
  • Facilities management 
  • Website maintenance 
  • Market research
  • Human resources
If you're employing a lot of time on these tasks or any other non-core obligations, it's time to figure out a better way. Hiring additional personnel, outsourcing or delegating more of these tasks are possible solutions to the problem. According to a Deloitte report, outsourcing is one of the entrepreneurs' preferred strategies for addressing non-core duties. A PwC study found that small businesses that outsource grow faster and more profitably than those that do not.

The best option for your business will depend on your scenario and requirements. The first step critical to finding relief is tracking how you spend your day. The results may surprise you.

Learn how we can put more time back in your day.