As a small business owner, you likely have a consistently full to-do list. From managing employees to ordering inventory to brainstorming marketing campaigns, you don’t have time to waste.
Unfortunately, common workplace distractions can get in the way of your productivity. This isn’t anything to be ashamed of – as most professionals struggle with this to some degree. In fact, 89 percent of employees have admitted to wasting time at work every day! Still, this isn’t something that you should avoid dealing with. Try to be proactive, and eliminate consistent disturbances. In this post, we’ll list six common distractions, and provide tips on how to limit them. By doing this, you can benefit your small business and ensure that it becomes successful!
1. Internet Browsing
The Internet can be an amazing business resource, but it also serves as a distraction for many business owners and their employees. It can be tempting to quickly check Pinterest or peruse a few news websites, but before you know it you’ve been browsing for hours!
To combat this, we suggest relying on productivity apps or site blockers to ensure that you don’t get distracted by sites that are unrelated to your work. Be honest with yourself about sites that sidetrack you, and don’t allow yourself to even type in the URL.
This has happened to most people; you think you’re going to answer a few messages, and suddenly you’re in a long texting conversation. Although you might not realize it, this can be a major productivity killer. In fact, 52 percent of employers believe that texting is the biggest time-wasting culprit.
Of course, you can’t completely ignore text messages; that isn’t realistic. You might be receiving messages about business-related issues, or could have important family matters to handle. Whatever the reason, you must learn how to answer texts quickly and efficiently, without being glued to your phone. Don’t be afraid to put your phone away for a period when you need to be especially productive. When you’re finished, you can check your texts!
3. Unnecessary Meetings
Many people think that holding frequent meetings will boost productivity, but it can often be quite the opposite. If you’re attending pointless meetings, that’s taking away time from pivotal tasks. Instead of scheduling meetings just for the sake of it, try to only hold them when it’s necessary.
Like tedious meetings, there are times when answering work-related emails can become counter-productive. You might think that you’re being constructive when answering emails, but sometimes becoming too focused on your inbox can sidetrack you from more time-sensitive, crucial tasks.
To avoid bad email habits, allot yourself a certain amount of time each day to answer emails. Once time is up, you must move on to the next assignment!
5. A Messy Workspace
Are you prone to allowing clutter to pile up at your desk? If so, this could be reducing your efficiency as a business owner. When your desk or other workspace is messy, you probably spend time looking for misplaced papers, or are rushing to clean, only to have it pile up all over again. Going forward, make a habit of filing papers as soon as you receive them, and end your day with organizational tasks to prepare you for the rest of the week. This way, you’ll never find yourself overwhelmed by a cluttered workplace.
If you and your employees have a strong rapport, that’s great! When employees are happy in the workplace, they are more likely to remain loyal, and will likely have a better work ethic. Still, there are always exceptions to this. If you or members of your staff socialize too often, it can sidetrack you from doing your work. Too much chatting can lessen the quality of your work, or take up too much time. In the future, try to limit your socialization for times when work is slow. This way, you won’t risk the quality of your business’s products or services.
Eliminating Workplace Distractions – It’s Possible!
Now that we’ve reviewed these six common distractions that could be plaguing you as a small business owner, you can take the necessary steps to reducing them. Of course, it’s difficult to break bad habits overnight, but if you’re aware of what is distracting you, then you can make beneficial changes moving forward.
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About the Author
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Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to businesses across the U.S.