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5 Common Productivity Mistakes Business Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

3 Mins read

Technology has transformed the world of business. Nowadays, business growth isn’t determined by how many long, hard hours you spend at work. No. What matters now is smart work.

The most successful companies have changed the rules of the game. These days, entrepreneurs now encourage employees to explore their creative licenses and freedom in the workplace. Task allocation tools are used to make work faster and more efficient. Basically, employers are doing all they can to boost productivity and the quality of work.

However, many business owners repeat the common mistakes productivity experts often talk about. To make your job easier, we have outlined the four most common mistakes entrepreneurs must avoid, especially if they want to boost overall productivity. The tips on our list will also help you find work-life balance.

Mistake # 1: Failing to Master The Art of Delegation;

According to social psychologists, many leaders succumb to the self-enhancement bias. When people hold this bias, they believe that no one can accomplish a task as well as they can.

In fact, studies from HBR suggest that employees spent approximately 41% of their time on discretionary jobs they should have delegated. Another study also showed that twenty-five percent of CEOs wasted time on tasks that could have been automated. Of course, this failure to delegate tasks led to low productivity and inefficiency on the part of the employers and the staff.

Delegate discretionary tasks to team members, while you’re developing and implementing your effective marketing plan. Resist the temptation to do it all, because frankly, you can’t. At least, you won’t succeed in your areas of strength because you would have spread yourself too thin.

Richard Branson (the billionaire) and CEO of Virgin Atlantic once said, “The Art of Delegating is key to the success of any business”.

Your business is more likely to prosper if you delegate to team members and automate your business processes. Which brings me to my next point.

Mistake #2: Neglecting to Embrace Task Allocation.

Have you read about task allocation in project management? If you haven’t, it might interest you to note this: allocation of tasks actually ranks high on the list of factors that influence the success of any business project. Many business owners neglect this at their own peril.

Don’t make the mistake of doing everything manually. It’s not a smart way to operate a business. Machines and business apps save time and energy that might have been wasted on routine, repeatable tasks.

To avoid this mistake, remember to invest in employee monitoring software, time tracking apps, document processors and other effective task allocation software. Below are some effective collaboration tools you can consider:

  • Trello
  • Time Doctor
  • Asana
  • Google Apps
  • Microsoft Office (you can delegate to outlook, SharePoint and others)
  • Dropbox
  • And so on.

Save yourself the hassle and stress of doing everything on your own. Delegate authority and automate your work. It’s an effective way to boost productivity and to increase your profit margins.

Mistake #3: Setting unrealistic goals and expectations

Employees dread unfair bosses. No one wants a manager that sets goals that aren’t realistic. Sadly, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of setting unrealistic goals and objectives. Sometimes, these goals aren’t clear. Often entrepreneurs do this to boost productivity. But this strategy is always counterproductive.

As a good leader, your job is to boost company morale, not to plummet it. When setting goals and targets, be realistic. Assess available tools and resources, then you can go on to set clear and realistic goals.

Mistake #4: Promote values that lead to work-life balance

In undeveloped climes, employees make the mistake of lording it over their workers. They intrude into their worker’s live, overwork them and deprive them of rest and play. This explains why such businesses remain at the cradle stages.

Businesses flourish when the company culture is one that values and promotes work-life balance. To avoid this mistake, incorporate this culture into your company’s policy manual. Set fixed work periods and encourage employees to take breaks after a few minutes. Set up a relaxation space for staff. Discourage unhealthy competition. Organize seminars on stress management and work-life balance. Not only will this boost company morale, it will also increase productivity and business growth.

In fact, research suggests that employees are more creative and productive when they rest and play more. If you want to see higher levels of productivity, promote the values of work-life balance.

Mistake #5: Multitasking

Permit me to debunk this much-perpetrated myth. Multitasking doesn’t boost productivity, rather, it reduces it. I’ll explain. Neurologists have revealed that multitasking interrupts the brain and forces it to work harder. Entrepreneurs multitask because they believe it helps them achieve more. This is just a misconception.

Another research showed that mistakes are more likely to occur when people multitask. Worse still, productivity is significantly lower when you multitask.

To avoid this mistake, make a to-do list, Your list should start with the most difficult tasks and end with the simplest tasks. Stick to your to-do list. Finish one task before moving on to the other.

Final thoughts:

It’s quite easy to boost productivity. All you have to do is avoid all of the aforementioned mistakes. Delegate authority to subordinates. Resist the temptation to juggle too many balls at once.  Automate your business processes. Create room for rest and play. And seriously, please say no to multi-tasking. Do yourself a favor, jettison the outdated management rules your ancestors handed down to you. Work smart. Be more productive, happier and healthier.