Top 10 Time-Wasters for Business Owners - Christine Kane

When you say “I don’t have enough time!” … are you always telling the truth? (Be honest.)

Is it possible that you DO have enough time – more than enough – but that you’re wasting it on frivolous things?

Let’s get brutally clear about what must be removed from your plate.

Maybe it’s bad habits. Maybe it’s the little things you do all the time. Maybe it’s a limiting mindset.

It doesn’t matter what it is. It matters that you begin with awareness.
Here is my list of top 10 Time Wasters for entrepreneurs who know it’s time to Uplevel their business…
#10 – Bookkeeping

Yes or no:

A] Do you toss your receipts in little piles, telling yourself you’ll get to them soon?

B] Do you announce every April that you’ve got to keep better track of your invoices?

C] Are you considering a QuickBooks course at your local college?

If you answered yes to ANY of these, you need a bookkeeper.

The reason you stink at this stuff is NOT because you’re a procrastinator.  The reason you stink at this stuff is because YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO! If you were meant to be a bookkeeper, you’d be one!

#9 – Customer service

In the early stages of your business, it’s good to connect with your prospects and clients and directly respond to them.  However, if the routine emails and calls swallow up hours each week, let go and hire someone to take over.

#8 – Running errands

One of my clients is a successful realtor.  Last week, she ran a “quick” errand to put a lock box on the door of a house. With traffic, this errand took 90 minutes.

This is a classic case of:  “By the time I show someone how to do it, I could just do this myself.”


If you do this activity once a week, you just wasted TEN 8-hour days of high ROI work you could be doing each year.

Will it take you 10 working days to show someone how to run your errands? Time to hire a personal assistant!

#7 – Housecleaning

The simple act of hiring a housekeeper can save marriages, heal relationships with kids, and make you believe in God.  That’s all.

time-wasters for business owners

Time-Wasters for Business Owners

Our Uplevel clients post all the time about how amazing it feels to finally hire the right person to help with personal tasks and clean up!

#6 – Blame

Blaming anyone (including yourself!) for your results or your actions is pointless.  Instead, take your power back and own your results.  Create a weekly habit of getting back on track with your priorities and your focus. We all get off track. We all have excuses. Keep up the habit of seeking solutions, not blame.

#5 – Worrying about competitors stealing your content

The days of intellectual property are mostly gone.

(And I say this as somebody who has had entire blog posts cut and pasted with a new byline on other websites.)

Here’s what’s truer than theft:

No one can steal your energy.

The people who steal your content crack me up because – try as they might – they can’t steal the energy and intention that is behind the content.  AND, even if they get a client from your content, they most likely wouldn’t be able to deliver on the promise.  Not really.

And besides, your job is to just keep getting ideas and putting them out there. Your loyal fans and readers will come to you when they find someone ripping you off. By that time, you’ll be on to something else.

#4 – Endless alerts and social media checking

How many alerts are pinging, binging, ringing, blooping, bleeping or vibrating your ass in any given hour? (Or even as you read this.)  Turn them off.  They’re making bad chemicals happen in your brain. They’re distracting your focus. And they are turning you into an anxiety-ridden rat.

It’s one thing to build a relationship with your followers by engaging with them on your social media channels, but this does not mean: obsessively updating your status (face it, some things are better left unsaid);  refreshing your newsfeed- just in case you missed something;  stalking your old college roommate (comparison kills); and then there are those cat videos that can end up sucking hours of your time and careen you into crazy-cat-lady status.

Remember, you’re a productive business owner so have scheduled and limited time when you check your social media. Otherwise, shut it down.

#3 – Half-Ass Delegation

Here’s a 7-Act Play in one paragraph:

Hire someone. Be excited. Tell him a few things to do. Get busy the next day. Forget to show him other things to do. Get frustrated because he didn’t do what you wanted. Call friends and complain that you can’t find good help these days.

Try this instead:

When you hire someone, tell him EXACTLY what you want him to do. Lay it out in step-by-step format with desired results and timelines spelled out clearly.  Take time each day to continue the training.  This requires consistent clarity and focus. And it pays off.

#2 – Looking at your unsubscribes


How many times do I have to tell you to stop doing this?

Your unsubscribes are none of your business.  Turn off that alert NOW.

Then, hire someone to manage your list and keep an eye on your unsubscribes.

(And yes, she will inform you the day your whole list decides they don’t like you anymore and collectively makes a mass exodus. In the meantime, the three people who unsubscribed this week can go out for cocktails together and talk about you.)

#1 – Taking the word “solo” literally

Solopreneur or solo business owner means that you run your own business. It does NOT mean that you should “go it alone.”

You can’t succeed without support from someone who is already successful at what you want to do. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve saved because of my coaches. They keep me focused, accountable, and clear about my next steps. And a coach will be able to see way before you can, all the things you’re doing to distract yourself from your purpose, and redirect you every time. It’s time to reach out, hire a coach, get a mentor, or surround yourself with other successful entrepreneurs.

Now, share with me!

What are you doing (sometimes or often) that is wasting your time – and when will you stop?

  • Tyese

    Oh my gosh! Number 10 is speaking to me! As I sit here in front of a large pile of receipts…

  • Dina Eisenberg

    The smell of vanilla cleaner made my heart leap with joy each time I came home and my house was clean and lovely. I hired my first housekeeper when I earned only a little more than I paid her, but she was worth it. That ease and rest freed me up to create and grow my income. That was the key to my early success.

    Now I teach other solopros how to give themselves permission to ask for help in their biz (outsource) and how to tell their smart, caring team precisely how to successfully help (delegate). The biggest challenge I see is biz owners want to manage the outcome when their real power is controlling the ‘pre-go’ stage when they can shape the outcome better. Thanks for being a proponent of hiring help!!

  • Hannah Brooksbank

    I always feel guilty as when I am spending time with my son, my phone is never far away & always pinging…..but I get frustrated that I also feel guilty that when I spend time with my son, I’m not doing my Income Producing Activity!! He is 17m old & I am a stay at home Mum…..what do you suggest?

  • Angelique Dimmick

    Christine – Thank you. I needed to receive these reminders. I recognize that I need to hire a bookkeeper. I have been taking the word “solo” literally; connecting with this marvelous group of entrepreneurs provides me with community and accountability. I have begun and will continue to participate in on-line and in-person networking to embrace the “we” and expand my business. I will hire a bookkeeper by July 1, 2016. I appreciate the nudge, the encouragement, and the reality check. Cheers.

    • Kim Evans

      Thanks Christine! I just signed up for a weekly local (organic!) grocery delivery service! No more soul-sucking weekend trips to the grocery for me. I’m so excited. Weekends are for resting up from all the hard work I’m putting into my business, not wrestling over the last broccoli in the produce aisle.