The Biggest Time Wasters for CEOs

The Biggest Time Wasters for CEOs

On average, CEOs spend 62.5 hours a week doing work-related activities. However, further studies revealed that 80% of their time is devoted to business and management practices – factors that only account for around 20% of the company’s long-term value.

As business owners, your most powerful resource is time. So to avoid wasting this valuable resource and make the most out of it, you need to eliminate these biggest time wasters for CEOs:

1. Unnecessary Meetings

Meetings are always an integral part of the decision-making process of any business. However, 56 million ineffective meetings happen every single day in the United States alone!

Consider this scenario: A highly productive company will conduct meetings every other day or twice a week. Since we have always believed that it is the CEO’s responsibility to overlook these types of gatherings, they will attend all of them. However, if you as the business owner come to every meeting, hoping to solve every problem there is, you are most likely underutilizing your staff and managing meetings ineffectively. Learn more about managing effective meetings here.

Tip: Having a clear agenda communicated to all can turn a one-hour meeting into a 15-20-minute meeting.

2. Unnecessary Emails

Emails can be the death of good time management. Studies show that just re-reading emails without taking action on them has the equivalent of wasting AN  ENTIRE WEEK worth of vacation time.

To help you with this problem, consider mastering your time with the Touch it Once Rule. If you touch it, take action. This applies to everything, even if it’s only replying to an inquiry email.

 

Additionally, always make sure that you and your employees use a relevant subject line that clearly covers the topic involved in the email. If the subject in the email changes, the subject line should also change. This tiny detail will help your team save time by preventing you from re-reading hundreds of emails just because you can’t find that one email from three months ago.

Tip: Turn off your email notifications right now. Your productivity significantly decreases when your attention is sidetracked with a notification.

Setting standards on sending and managing emails is helpful in terms of team communication, time management, and problem-solving. Similarly, it is also important to have specific times during the day when you will respond to them. You must train your team to follow your best practices so that everyone is highly productive, avoiding the notification syndrome that throws off your focus. Instead, allot two 30-60 minute times in your scheduled day where you can focus on your email responses.

If you want to know how billionaires manage their time, feel free to check out this blog post.

 

3. Employees’ Conflict

Interacting with your employees is necessary not only in letting you know what’s happening within your team, but is also a great way of wielding influence towards them.

However, when problems ensue within the team, what should you do?

While it is true that their conflicts can greatly affect your company, it should not be part of your job to resolve issues and conflicts among your employees.

Instead, have a middle person or an HR manager who is trained in conflict management to take over and resolve workplace miscommunications. This way, you will have more time to deal with more important business matters.

 

4. Interruptions

How many times do you answer the same questions for your staff or your clients? This repetition happens all the time and you may not notice it but it’s wasting your team’s valuable time.

Quite often, our biggest time wasters are the constant interruptions that take place only for a few minutes. Answering queries, waiting for a late employee, resolving management issues, re-reading mails – all of these consume less than an hour of your day. But when these numbers are compounded, they waste a lot more time than you think.

One of our workshops involves an activity designed to identify what the biggest time wasters of businesses are. If you want to try it, this is how it’s done:

  1. Have your whole team take 2 minutes to silently write down on their paper all the ways their time is wasted in their role and what they think are the biggest time wasters in the company.
  2. The moderator (typically the CEO) then goes around the room collecting everyone’s written answers and writes them up where everyone can see. (For example, in a zoom call, you write them down for everyone to see in a screen share. In a meeting room it could be on a whiteboard).
  3. Vote on the list of the biggest time wasters in the business to see which the team believes is the most critical.
  4. Lastly, decide an action plan for what will be done to start solving this issue. Whom will do what to solve this issue.

This simple exercise made companies identify what’s stopping them from being productive and ultimately solved their decade-long problems. For employees, it enabled them to grow as a person and become better leaders themselves.

This is our ‘How to Go from Zero to a Hundred Million and Beyond’ teaching. The 3Ps: Policies, Process, and Planning that makes companies scale faster, better, smarter. Click on this link to know more.

 

5. System Intrusion

Research revealed that the second biggest worry for CEOs this year is actually cybersecurity.  This was rather surprising to us. Nonetheless, we have become a society that depends upon technology. When properly handled, technology within an organization can create an exponential efficiency no competitor can match. That is why we’re seeing companies less than five years old selling for eight and nine figures is the power of technology today is infinite.

However, when misused, tragedy can strike with loss of data and cyber-attacks can cause Goliaths to fall. On a smaller scale in day to day operations, system intrusion or system failure increases the completion time of tasks which leads to delays on projects. This is a subset of interruptions at work that is caused by technology. This can either be a system property issue that arises when the system you’re utilizing for work completion has features that fit poorly with the task you’re doing, or deficiency in system resources such as breakdowns, or glitches caused by upgrades or failed upgrades.

Nowadays, any CEO, business, or company has become reliant on technology. It becomes a great tool to help you accomplish your business goals when done correctly.

 

 

In Conclusion

Being a CEO is an all-consuming role. There is always more to do. There are always more decisions to make. The cliché that 24 hours is not enough is indeed true for you. Eliminating the above-mentioned biggest time wasters can help you free up some time that you may use to do things that actually matter. Nobody can buy for more hours in a day, what you can only do is to manage your time more effectively across various responsibilities.

 

 

Take Action

Let go of the time wasters that run down your clock. Be more productive and focus on what matters the most. We want that for you.

If you want to become smarter about your time, if you want to increase the sales of your company, let’s talk! Schedule a no-obligation consultation on how to implement growth into your company today.

 

References:

Addas, S., & Pinsonneault, A. (2015). The many faces of information technology interruptions: A taxonomy and preliminary investigation of their performance effects. Infor System, 25, 231-273. DOI: 10.1111/isj.12064

Crawford, K. (2014). The biggest time wasters for CEOs. Forefront Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.forefrontmag.com/2014/05/the-biggest-time-wasters-for-ceos/

Dierdorff, E. C. (2020). Time management is about more than life hacks. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/07/how-ceos-manage-time

Mankins, M. (2004). Stop wasting valuable time. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2004/09/stop-wasting-valuable-time

Vass, I. (2019). What are the biggest time wasters for CEOs? Business Woman Media. Retrieved from https://www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com/biggest-time-wasters-ceos/

Time Management Secrets of Billionaires

Time Management Secrets of Billionaires

Are you inundated by constant notifications and interruptions? You could be hurting your bottom line.

According to a University of California Irvine study, it takes nearly 25 minutes to refocus on the task at hand after your concentration has been broken; for modern business owners, high distraction levels could be costly.

Entrepreneur interviewed me to get the six simple steps to maximize productivity by 500% and it only takes 5 minutes a day. I reveal the time management secrets from our late founder, Chet Holmes, in his book The Ultimate Sales Machine.

Originally, Chet learned these strategies while working for Berkshire Hathaway Vice-President Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet’s business partner). He noticed Charlie’s time was maximized in every way and once he adopted the practices of his billionaire boss, he found the secret to mastering time effectively. Chet always used to say that majority of businesses are terrible at time management, and if he could see how we waste it with our phones today, he’d be utterly shocked.

6 STEPS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY BY 500% 

Six proactive steps to time management can transform your day. They take five minutes to do and can double the amount of results you get daily. The problem is not whether or not these steps will work because they absolutely will. The problem is whether or not you will fully commit to doing them, repeatedly. Download the Time Management worksheet to follow along with the article RIGHT NOW! The key to time management is committing to the following six steps:

 Step One: Touch it once 

How often do you pick up something on your desk and say, “I have to take care of this, but I can’t deal with it right now”?

If you do that a few times per day with a few different documents/projects/tasks, by the end of the year, you will have spent an entire month touching and rereading information without taking action. So, if you touch it, move it to the next step. If you want to see how often you waste time, each time you pick up something, put a red dot on it. After you have three red dots on a piece of paper, you begin to feel pressure to do something and move on. If you touch it, take care of it.

 

Step Two: Make lists, but stick to the six most important things 

When we conduct this time management seminar, we ask how many people in the audience make lists. Practically everyone does. People often have lists with 25 to as many as 40 items on them. They are proud that their lists are so long and that they are so busy.

Further investigation quickly shows them that long lists are the perfect way to be busy, but not productive. When you have a long list, your energy is focused more on trimming the list than it is on being productive. Each day, pick the six items that will produce the highest level of results, put them on your list, and finish all six things by day’s end.

Step Three: Plan how long you will spend on each item 

You’ve started your day by making a list of the six most important things. That took two or three minutes. Now, take another minute to plan how long each item will take or how long you will dedicate to the items that are ongoing.

When we conduct this workshop, the people with long lists usually find that they can have an incredibly productive day with only six hours spent on their six key items. Most people who use these steps find they get more important work done in less time because their time is focused on the most productive tasks.

Step Four: Plan when 

Now that you know how much time to dedicate to each task, you need to plan when you will do them. In addition, you must build in time for the reactive mode.

For example, if you are a sales manager interrupted by frequent “got a minute” meetings, plan a fixed time when you will accept those types of meetings. Otherwise, unless it is an emergency, do not allow people to come to your desk and ask if you’ve got a minute!

Think of any top executive you know. Can you simply call them up, or do you have to schedule time with them? Many top executives plan their day down to the minute. Everything is done according to a schedule, including time for “got a minute” meetings. Scheduling time is the key to time management.

Step Five: Ask the results 

Few people are highly productive. People like to have items on a list, so they can cross off the items. But that’s not enough.

The things that produce the best results are generally the most difficult. Thus, they get left off of the list or are scheduled at the end of the day, causing them to get bumped to the next day…and the next…and the next.

Schedule important tasks at the beginning of your day. Cold calling or trying to get appointments with key prospects or clients are the things that produce the best results. However, they often get pushed off by average salespeople. After you make your list, ask yourself if the items on it are the ones that will produce the most results.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF A MANAGER’S DAY

  • 8:00 – 8:30 am Plan day; have quick look at staff’s planned day.
  • 8:30 – 9:30 am Work on a strategy to overcome our new, most frequently heard objection.
  • 9:30 – 10:00 am Create a standard promotional piece or standard letter that addresses the problem.
  • 10:00 – 12:00 pm On sales call with Bill
  • 12:00 – 1:30 pm Lunch with an important client, Smith
  • 1:30 – 2:00 pm Miscellaneous
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm Got-A-Minute meetings
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm Review “Six Musts of Marketing” for the month
  • 4:00 – 5:00 pm Work on improving systems
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm Meet with Boss

Question: How much of this day is proactive?

Answer: All but 90 minutes

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

Get your copy of the Time Management Secrets of Billionaires Worksheet now


Step Six: Will it hurt me to throw this away? 

Of all filed information, 80% is never referred to again. After hearing this time management idea, I began to throw away four out of five of the items I used to keep. It’s been 10 years, and I cannot think of a single time where it has hurt me.

Making The Training Stick

Human behavior can only truly be affected in two ways: Repetition and direct involvement. You can agree intellectually that these six steps will cause a productivity increase, but until you practice them (direct involvement) and continue to use them (repetition), your behavior will not change.

The common wisdom is that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. My experience is that it takes years. But for now, if you can stick to this program for just 21 days, you will be forever reminded of its power, and you will be more likely to use these important steps.

To hear the full interview, it only takes 40 minutes to press play below. It could be the best 40 minutes you spend this year if adopted with PIG HEADED DISCIPLINE AND DETERMINATION.

Solution

We’re here to help you grow faster, better, smarter! We have shared the Time Management Secrets of Billionaires Worksheet for your own implementation here.

If you really want to have a massive impact today, schedule your own 1 on 1 breakthrough strategy call where we find you a breakthrough in your business in under 20 minutes, click HERE to get your complimentary session!

The Business Goal Setting Worksheet We Use to Increase Sales for our Clients

The Business Goal Setting Worksheet We Use to Increase Sales for our Clients

business goal setting worksheet
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How clear are you on your business goals

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Could you recite them off the top of your head

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Does your team know them as well as your action plan

Shockingly 92% of people that set goals at the beginning of the year never actually achieve them.

What’s going to make you different?

Follow our Ultimate Sales Machine business goal setting worksheet steps to answer your questions.

1 Begin by answering these 6 questions in our Business Goal Setting Worksheet as a framework for where you should be focusing. Add any goals you had already written for your goal planning.

2Go through your answers and make sure they make this checklist:
 

  • Is this goal measurable?
  • Is this goal attainable/achievable?
  • Is this goal time-bound?
  • Do you have long-term goals? 5-10 years
  • Do you have short-term goals? 3-6 months
3You must place the answer to these questions in an appropriate location so that you will see them every day.

Our founder, Chet Holmes said, “I have 27 lifetime goals that are posted on the inside of my medicine cabinet so I see them every time I reach for my toothbrush.”

4Use your Pig Headed Discipline and Determination to continue to revisit your goals on a monthly basis.
Helpful Tip: Create a reminder in your phone right now to ding at you once a month so you are reminded where you’re looking to go. This will help remind you to go beyond the 92% of people who cannot hold the discipline beyond 45 days.

Are you having a hard time picking your goals? This usually happens when businesses are unaware of where they’ve been over the previous 12 months. To know where you want to go you need to know where you’ve been. That’s why we’ve made our Opportunity Assessment available for you. Learn more here.