Top 9 Online Business Productivity Killers and How to Avoid Them

Are you killing your own productivity (without realizing it) and starving your own business of desirable income? Are you partly or fully responsible for making your business unproductive and incapable of growing or generating more income? Find out in this post. Read on to identify which of these 9 productivity/ time killers you are guilty of and learn how to avoid them from killing your business time and stealing your income.

Is your business productive or are you engaging in the top productivity productivity killers? The productivity of any business is measured by the output (and income) that business generates? What is your daily business output like, when put side by side with your daily “To Dos” and your daily completed activities?

Time is money but only when a  business is productive. A productive business usually completes all its planned activities on TIME, hence those kind of businesses generate the most revenue (more than their competitors).

Although businesses, including small and home businesses can face unforseen circumstances that may cause them to be unproductive, albeit temporarily.  However, some entrepreneurs engage in some habits and unstructured-ness that makes them their own worst enemy. Hence, they are the reasons why their own businesses are not productive. In this post, you will discover the 9 top business productivity killers PLUS how to avoid them from killing your business, time and income.

Why Should You Care To Build A Highly Productive Online Business?

The rewards of productivity are three-fold: saves time, saves resources (people and money). Apart from savings in time, money and human capacity, a productive person also earns lots more than the unproductive person, while spending time saved on fun activities. It’s about working smart and not harder.

Is Your Online Business Or Blogging Suffering From These 9 Productivity Killers?

Is your business productivity on the decline? No one is born productive – productivity can be learned.  While you can learn to become productive by reading a wide array of resources on what to do, you can increase your productivity by avoiding things that can make you counter productive. In this post you will learn about the top 9 productivity killers you should watch out for, and avoid them if you must increase you online business productivity. Here you go:

Online Business Productivity Killer #1: Mindset of  Hobby (Instead of Business)

Usually because of the low start-up costs and a job “security”, many small and home business owners fail because they treat their businesses as hobbies, unable to go “extra miles” and work only a little on their businesses whenever they are broke or are threatened with dismissal at work. After that, they forget they have a business. Remember the saying ‘as a man thinketh…” is always true in the law of attraction.

Now that you know, you can set out to think positively about your online business in order to attract improved business productivity.

Small Business Productivity Killer #2: Lack of Daily Planning

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Before you sleep every night, write down action plans or planned business activities for the next day, prioritised in a “To Do List” with allocated time slots. Ensure to stick with your planned activities by blocking out every form of interaction during work hours. Be realistic in assigning tasks and time (duration) to your “To Do Lists” and ensure to complete your planned daily activities as planned, and where for unforeseen circumstances you could not complete them, move such activities to the next day.

To improve your online business productivity, you can start with one simple change you can do today. In your daily plans, be sure to create a schedule or plan for commenting on other blogs for traffic and links – that is one area that most bloggers and online marketers find it hard to draw a line. That, and social media is a big easy distraction prey.

Online Productivity Killer #3: No Definite Work Hours

It is important to block out a couple of hours every day for completing your income generating activities, preferably at your most productive hours of the day –AM or PM. If you plan to work daily for 2 hours (for example) between 6am to 8am, stick to that. I bet you can start sticking to a defined work hour so that your business productivity can experience a boost, which will have a direct impact on your revenue.

Productivity Killer # 4: Interruptions at Work Hours

In order to see a significant increase in your online business productivity, avoid the common time wasters whenever you should be doing income generating activities.  You can engage in them only after achieving a productive day.  One tip is to write them down as “Forbidden List” and stick them beside your work table or on the wall, for a constant reminder of the “No Go Areas”. These are some of the popular time wasters among many entrepreneurs.

  • Taking or making telephone calls – switch off your phones and leave voice mails where necessary;
  • Reading emails – avoid the temptation of logging into your email boxes or reading emails from blogs you are subscribed to when you should be doing something to get your own marketing emails read by others in order to generate sales. Only read emails after you have completed your productive activities;
  • Logging into Facebook, YouTube or MySpace, Skype Chat

Business Productivity Killer #5: Learning at Earning Time

Although learning new things can help you increase your value in the marketplace and attract more prospects and income thereof, learning on its own does not produce earning. Therefore separate learning times from income generation time. A simple rule is to allocate 10% of your work time to learning, and you may do this once a week or start or end your day with learning of new things.

It’s also important to have a learning plan and goals with specific timelines when you should stop learning that particular skill and start implementing. Always, always never get carried away getting excited with something new on that subject to learn. There will always be. Stick to your learning plan and take action when you scheduled to. Remember that it’s only in doing that there is earning and a lot of times, people have up to 80% of the skills and information they need to get to the next level but they get in the habit of perpetual learning cycle, which never adds to increase their business productivity.

Online Productivity Killer #6: Wasting Time on Areas of Intense Weakness

There may be some activities that you just find yourself not good at either because you hate to do them or you have never had time to learn to be good at them.  Thus, you spend a lot of time on activities like these (some of which make very little impact on your income) while high impact activities suffer.  You can find someone else who is good at these activities to assist you do them. This does not necessarily mean outsourcing to outsiders. You can get a friend, family member or a kid that lives in your neighbourhood to do these activities at very low cost, so that increased income from these activities can cover the cost and leaving you with profit.

You can learn how to leverage outsourcing to get things done when they should be done, and avoid drowning in a sea of “to do” activities.  Also ensure that you find really cheap, quality freelancers to outsource tedious and technical business tasks to, so that every time you use a freelancer or virtual assistant, you are sure of increased outputs and profits, much higher than the cost of outsourced Virtual Assistant (VA). So, start using outsourcing to delegate your time wasting and tedious activities to Virtual Assistants and you’ll see an improved productivity in your business.

Business Productivity Killer #7: Multitasking but not Completing any Single Activity

Some people are fond of trying to do a dozen things at the same time so that at the end of the day, they have completed NONE. Having a To Do List and Forbidden List, and sticking with them can help you curb this habit. Apply FOCUS all the time, it works to get things done productively.

Have a To Do List with time allocation and Focus On one Course Until Completed. Do not leave your internet on and browse while you are writing a blog post – that is extreme distraction (and hoping around perking a bit of every activity) delays speed of implementation, and earning.

Productivity Killer #8: Lack of a System or Methodology

If, hypothetically, you fall ill for a day and warned to stay off work, do you have a process map or simple sketched system that anyone around you can use to keep your business or blog in continuity until you’re okay? Lack of systemized business process causes delay in execution – usually from chaos and the habit of searching for some missing puzzle. Lack of system = a disorganized and unproductive business.

Setup your business to be close to hands-free, able to exist without you, even on impromptu. It would take a bit of time at first but once you have all setup (one time only), you’ll find that you will work less business hours with increased productivity.

The best businesses are built on systems, and McDonalds is a classical example of a business that has survived the odds simply because it has a system. What is your system or methodology for doing each of your business activities? Many home business owners believe that systems are for only big businesses. That is not true because many top earners in the home business industry built their businesses on systems. You can too. Having a written down methodology helps to keep you focused when you are working and also provides a quick guide to give to someone you want to outsource a few tasks to. Now write down a strategy or methodology for each of the following:

  • Content Creation system: Do you start by first writing an outline and then expanding on the outlines? Do you start writing by just flowing and later structuring your contents? What is your content development methodology?
  • Traffic Generation and content promotion system: Where are the places that bring you the most traffic? What are the steps you take to get your contents out there, every single time you publish a post– what do you do first, next, next….?
  • List Building system: What approach do you use to build a new list? Write your steps down.
  • Back-link building: What particular

Stop doing business tasks ad-hoc style or haphazard manner, write down your own methodology in a notepad or mindmap – just keep it simple. Do it today. I have done mine on a mindmap – for every single thing I do after every post is published (traffic/ blog post promotion), how I am building list (I listed the different ways); I wrote the types of contents I’ll be putting up on my blog and when and how.  It can only look daunting because you have not started doing it. I prefer mindmap or sketching on paper in a fish-bone style because I draw the processes and see them in   single page. You can get freemind or bubl.us- they’re free mind-mapping tools.

Online Business Productivity Killer #9: Not Leveraging on Automation

Leverage automation to increase your online business productivity and output.  Leverage on simple automation tools such as autoresponders, social media status update tools  (such as hootsuite and socialoomph), free semi-automated social bookmarking tools (such as socialmarker.com or onlywire.com) and Friend adder tools (like Facebook Blaster Pro and Tweet Adder) let you add between 50 and 100 new friends daily on facebook and twitter.

It’s all about productivity! These tools help cut down to more than one quarter time input into the activities so that you save more than four times time against doing the related tasks manually.

Depending on your budget, you can even get fully automated tools for some critical online business tasks.

With autoresponders, you can pre-schedule emails and email mini-courses to your subscribers. With tools like hootsuite, with just one click you can post one status update to all your social media channels; in addition you can also pre-schedule status updates.  These kinds of tools free up time for you so that you can do more high impact income generating activities.

Finally…

There you have it – Top 9 Online Business Productivity Killers And How To Avoid Them If You Must Build a Wildly Productive Business Online.  I hope you enjoyed reading and will put the above productivity tips to action and quit being the bottleneck standing in the way of your business success.

Have I missed anything? I’d love to hear from you – what are your own ninja business productivity tips? Share them in the comments side, with me and other readers.

Share the love! If you liked this post, help others benefit from it too. Share it on Facebook, Tweet it, Stumble it, Digg it…

Comment: Please do not forget to leave your footprint (comment) behind – how else would I know you were here:)

Thanks for reading, let’s meet in the comments area.

 

Yours in Building a Wildly Productive Online Business,

Stella

Photo by lowjumpingfrog

30 thoughts on “Top 9 Online Business Productivity Killers and How to Avoid Them”

  1. Its very important to distinguish between a hobby and a business one plans to run because once a blog gets monetized one really has to toil hard and not just work during leisure times. Most of the time one’s hobby has led to website creations but things get serious as the hobby takes off into a business.

  2. Stella,

    These tips are very important ones! Especially when building on your online business part-time (while having a day job), you have to make sure, that you can work without interruptions.

    I’m a heavy advocate of waking up early. That’s when my productivity is at it’s highest. My home is quiet and I can focus on my stuff without interruptions.

    Timo

    1. Hi Timo:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come read and comment – I appreciate it.

      I’m glad you like the productivity tips in the post. Sure, allowing interruptions during work hours is counter-productive. Looks like we both are the early AM people – I’m also very most productive and most creative at early mornings, with high level of focus.

      I was over at your blog and was like “Wow!” – so many productivity tips for bloggers and online marketers. I bookmarked it and subscribed too. Excellent contents you’ve got. Will visit again from time to time.

      Again thanks for coming and hope to see you some more:)

  3. Wow! Great list. I think multitasking is the greatest productivity killer in case of me. By the way, I came here from google search and I’m subscribing. 🙂

    1. Hi Malik:

      You’re right about multi-tasking being a big productivity killer. A lot of people also experience this.

      The best way is to FOCUS = Focus On One Course Until Successful and that’s where time blocking helps. I started using the Pomodoro Tomato (online) Timer to Focus on one task in my To Do list before moving to another, and also take short breaks in between 25 minutes block of time.

      Thanks for subscribing, you’re welcome to my list.

  4. Wow! This was a really informative post, Stella! It got me seeing my time-wasting triggers more clearly. I identify with all of your points, but especially when you talk about keeping definite work hours with no interruptions.

    To keep myself on track, I’ve been using the Pomodoro method lately with a simple computer timer. It makes sure I don’t get sucked in by the random email that pops up or an idea that strikes me during my “work hours.”

    I also really liked your distinction between learning and earning. I have to make sure I don’t get sucked into the incessant learning trap too!! =)

    Thanks for this awesome post, Stella! =)

    1. Dank u zeer veel.

      I’m glad I’ve helped you towards growing your website, though my blog contents. It’s my pleasure.

      I just checked your site and see that you are doing a great job there. Cool site.

      Please do visit again. I loved reading your comments.

      By the way, I lived in Holland (Maastricht) a while and loved it. All the best!

  5. Great informations you’ve gathered. Yes, all the tips you’ve,mention can be the reasons why some businesses are not so progressive. No matter how much money there going to invest, but still no progress occur. Some of it are very true. I have witness some particular situation that lead to unproductive result. So, if you really want to get rid of these productive killers why not prioritizing your business?

  6. Hi Stella, I just discovered another tip, as I was trying to track down a resource I came across yesterday: Go under the “History” command of your browser and see where your time is spent. Talk about a wakeup call! Susan

    1. Hahaha – Susan; wow, that’s really a discovery.

      I never thought about that – that was very creative of you, I must say. Thanks for pointing it to my attention; I’ll be sure to use it as a tracking tool:)

      *I enjoyed reading about the ‘frugal’ Ford Housewives at your blog – refreshing and light read for me – you’re a good story teller.

  7. Hey Stella! You know what really grinds my gears? When on a group conference call and you ask someone a question and they say “I’m sorry, can you repeat the question? I was multi-tasking.” REALLY?

    In my opinion, there is no such thing as multi-tasking (outside of regular, routine functions like breathing and walking LOL)…

    You can’t devote 100% of your attention to more than one thing. I’ve had to learn this the hard way myself (and still in recovery!). If I find myself doing more than one thing and jumping back and forth between items, I get discombobulated and have to really get back to just one task and finish it. Then I can move on.

    I also find that I work faster that way instead of fishing around at multiple items.

    This is an excellent post and sharing with my network!
    ~Kesha

    1. Hey Kesha, a big thanks for coming by and for commenting.

      I had to really LoL (laugh out loud) when I read your comments. Yea, those multi-tasking goddesses who forget to add ‘listening’ to their list of ‘MULTI tasks’. I find many women doing that more than men, as ‘we’ tend to believe that because a woman can multi-task the kitchen, kids, work and housekeeping – so it’s a natural talent to multi-task everything in life. Lol.

      I agree with you totally – you’ll only succeed at ‘perking’ every activity – a little bit of this and that BUT not a single completed task. There’s no score for unfinished or almost completed tasks, and the truth is that you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you carry on like that when running your own business.

      Just like you, I also accomplish most tasks when I pick and complete one task at a time – shutting off the others.

      Thanks for wanting to share this post – much appreciated.

      **Hey, you’ve got an awesome blog and loads of useful contents – bookmarked.

  8. I’m so glad I saw this in my mastermind group. Very good suggestions all around, but I especially like the idea of setting aside a learning time without eating into your earning time. I’m really guilty of that lately, since I’ve been getting into new areas of marketing online. I agree with several other commentors – gonna print this one out!

    1. I’m glad you liked this post, Kelli. The Mastermind tribe is a great place – I have also read many interesting posts.

      I’m glad you found useful tips to bump up your business productivity. Yes, learning time does not produce earning, and if an entrepreneur is not careful they’d be slowing down their business growth and earnings too. I’m glad you’d be printing this for later reference.

      BTW, I love your slogan “Happy Home CEO”. I loved reading your Monday motivational quotes over at your blog.

  9. Love this list!! I will print it up and put it by my computer.. There are days when I look at the clock and go, what did I accomplish today!! I think that my biggest waster of time is not outsourcing… I find there are things that just drive me crazy cause i don’t do them well or efficiently, I need to find someone to do those… Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Holly, for coming by and commenting. Please go ahead, print out and put the list by your computer – it helps to keep one in check, as a reminder.

      I’m glad you liked this post. I’m happy you were able to pin-point your own top productivity killer/ time waster, and have also identified the exact actions you need to take to get it off your way (and off your business growth path).

      You know, you’re not alone at that – giving in to time wasters during business hours, only to look up the clock to feel guilty that we accomplished nearly zilch.

      Hey Holly, your practical advice to keeping our abs in check is the best solution for my needs right now. Thanks for that.

  10. My husband and I have a home-based business. If one of us gets distracted by the Internet, the other will say, “Oooh, shiny things,” as a reminder not to get distracted by the many shiny distractions online.

    Very informative post, Stella!

    Susan

    1. Hey Susan:
      Thanks for coming by, and for your ‘shiny’ comments. I’m glad you liked this post.

      Lol. I love you (and your husband’s) customized method of keeping each other in check, to keep your business productivity high. Now, I learned me a new one – to scream “shiny things…” whenever I find myself getting engrossed in the ‘not too business shiny stuff on the WWW’ during my home business hours.

      *Your post on online schooling for kids was very informative – great share:)

  11. Yes, working at an online business comes with its own set of rules. You have to work harder and smarter because you are in a niche that demands consistency and time. I’ve gotten use to doing all of these, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. Thanks for the post!

    1. Hey Cubicle Chick – it’s good to see you around, and thanks for commenting.

      You’re right – online business has it’s own set of rules and self discipline (to keep away from unproductive activities) during business/ work hours is the key to achieving success. I’m happy to know that you are on top of your business productivity.

      I liked your post on Argan Oil in CON – I love Argan Oil, having used it on body during Hammam (Moroccan Bath/ spa) – it’s a great skin polisher.

  12. OMG – Stella, I swear that I have been guilty of all of those at one point in time or another! Great list. I think I am going to have to print this out and put it on my bulletin board! Just as soon as I check my email and my Facebook notifications! 🙂

    1. Lol. Danielle, I’m glad you liked the post. Please do print it out – I also have a print out by my desk that I like to use to keep me in check. You know some of these productivity killers can be so addictive (like our dear Facebook) that they fun-ly creep into our work time while looking like innocent normal activities.

      It’s amazing that my most productive days have been when I TOTALLY shut off Facebook and emails (from mailing lists I’m in).

      BTW, I went over to your blog and my first impression was “Ooh, I love this clean blog appearance” and shortly I saw your ppost “appearances do matter”. That’s a very professional one you put up there – congrats.

    1. Thank you for dropping by, Ojiugo. I am glad you liked the post. I wish you the most productive week ever.

      Stella

  13. I am glad that you enjoyed the post, Cheryl.

    You are not alone there – the internet is just a natural distraction that we all need some super discipline to ignore it when we should.

    I am also a culprit – it’s funny that I spent so much time researching and reading emails to find that time flew very fast and I was late on schedule on setting up my blog. Time is just so irreplaceable. Lol

    You’ve got a great blog there, and a unique name.

    Thanks for coming by.

      1. You are right Cheryl – we need much more than 24 hours a day… However since we can’t have that our only option to do more in the “limited time” is to become more productive.

        Hey Cheryl, I enjoyed reading your new blog post …and I love that cute signature font of yours.

        Cheers
        Stella

  14. Stella, great job with this post!!

    You have so many great points that are very real for people working from home.
    One of the reasons I started a social media management business is because it something that I do well and other people need help with. It took me 4 years to realize that this was what I should be doing lol, but hey, it’s the process of trial and error right?!

    My biggest distraction is spent wasting time on the internet checking out this and that. I have to constantly be sure that I am focused during my work hours or nothing gets done!!

    Keep up the good posts 🙂

Comments are closed.