The official Webster... okay, the Kelli Komondor... definition of Time Suck is:
Tasks you do daily, weekly, or monthly, that suck up time - and drain the life out of you.
Have you ever recorded the time it takes you to do anything in your business? I use Clockify.com to track EVERYTHING I do. That includes reading my business email, marketing tasks for my business, blogging and creating newsletters... and all client work - whether they're on a monthly retainer or billed hourly.
WHY? Well, it keeps me accountable for how I'm spending my time - and it eliminates Time Sucks.
I recently had a conversation with someone who kept telling me how BUSY she was. She rattled off a laundry list of "things" she did every day to run her business and the only thing I kept saying (in my head, of course) was "TIME SUCK!"
Being busy and being productive are two different things.
She was wasting time chasing press and media leads for her business and REALLY wasting a lot of time on social media - quite possibly the biggest Time Suck of all time. We've all been there. We’ve had good intentions of posting for our business, or just scrolling for a bit to get caught up… and getting sucked in - for hours, am I right?
🆘 So, I asked how I can help.
❓ She asked what I offered.
✅ She's now a client.
It’s really hard to focus on what you SHOULD be doing for your business and what you COULD be outsourcing. We all fall into Time Sucks, but it doesn't have to happen as often as it does.
Here is some advice and examples of how I'm learning to avoid falling into Time Sucks:
1. Schedule everything. If a client contacts me and it's not emergent, I'll ask to create an appointment / meeting to talk about what they need. I find that dropping everything, or at least stopping work on one thing to shift to another takes up time. If you're hyper-focused on something it takes a bit to change direction. You're better off saying, "Ok, I'm free at 3:00 - can we chat then?", instead of disrupting your groove.
2. Eliminate distractions. When I'm really "heads-down" on something I will put my cell phone in another room and log out of my email. Did you know you can go into your iPhone settings and see how often you pick up your phone? It's in settings - screen time. And as a side note, I'm down 33% from last week - YAY!
3. Get up and get out. I try to stand up, walk around the house, or go out in our back yard at least 2 - 3 times in the morning and in the afternoon. I know this sounds like I'm breaking stride - but when I feel the need for a pause coming on, or if I'm stuck for words when writing content, I feel as if this stretch and fresh air helps bring me back. And having an almost-ten-year-old dog who is nearly blind AND spending lots of time puppas-sitting granddog Maggie helps. Mags would lay in the sun all day, every day if we let her!
What are your biggest TIME SUCKS and what are you going to do about them?
Send me an email and let’s talk about it – email@example.com.
Yours in productivity!
XO - Kel