Entrepreneurs can be the world’s worst organizers! It’s unfortunate, since we need it the most. If this list sounds familiar, change your evil ways to become more efficient and get more done.
1. Multitasking. Whoever told you it was a good thing lied. Multitasking reduces productivity, plain and simple. Every time you switch activities, you slow your progress, and make it harder to get things done. But hey, if you really think driving, texting, talking on the phone and drinking your Starbucks is a good idea, I’m sure you won’t mind that traffic ticket.
2. Empty Your Inbox Chronologically. If you start with the oldest email and work your way to the newest, you may think you’re doing a great job, but what happens when you come across an email that requires a great deal of research? You may not have time or energy to really tackle it, and you might do a poor job if this is your method for working. Instead, focus on tasks you have time and energy to tackle, based on priority.
3. Check Email All Day. Going back to that switching activities in #1; checking your email all day doesn’t make it easier to sort through it all. Set specific times each day to check email, like at the start, middle and close to end of your work day. Address priority emails first.
4. Procrastinate. We’re all guilty, but is putting off that TPS report going to help anyone? It might make you lose a client. Instead, prioritize based on when things need to be done and break them up into smaller tasks.
5. Work 12 Hour Shifts. You may think you’re getting more done by chaining yourself to your desk, but in fact, taking breaks or working in a different setting can do wonders for your creativity and productivity.
6. Isolate Yourself. If you work from home, you’re probably guilty of this. But entrepreneurs can’t live in a bubble; chat with other work-at-homers on Twitter or go work at the coffee shop once in a while. It will invigorate you.
7. Look Only at the Big Picture. If you look at a project as a whole and don’t break it into smaller pieces, you’ll probably go past your deadline and budget. Look to Agile project management techniques to see how to take it as it comes.
8. Look Only at the Small Picture. If you focus on the day to day, you’ll never grow your business. Keep an eye on the bigger picture by identifying your long-term goals.
9. Organize The Way You Think You Should. If you put files in a drawer that you constantly refer to, you’ll waste a lot of time going to that drawer. Keep things you use often on your desk and the rest put away.
10. Clean Your Desk Once a Year. Stuff piles up on desks. It’s an epidemic. But if you organize what’s on it once a week, you might find an important document you thought you lost, and you’ll stay more mentally focused.