Top 10 “Time Killers” that Stalk Freelancers and Small Business Owners

Happy National Time Management Month!

For the past three years, OfficeTime (a time & expense tracking app available for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC) has run its “Top Time Killers” survey. According to spokesperson, Kevin Doel, this year’s survey was the biggest yet. Over 1,300 people – mostly freelancers and small business owners – shared how much time they spend on various activities throughout their workdays.

For three years straight, email ranked as the top business “time killer,” while Meetings moved from it’s previous 5th place finish to achieve 2nd place in the recent survey.

So how do small business professionals like you and me spend most of their time? Here’s OfficeTime’s newly released Top Ten list. Results were ranked based on the percentage of respondents spending between one to four hours per day on the activities.

Introducing OfficeTime’s 2014 “Top Time Killers”:

10. Dealing with computer problems (6%)
9. Social networking for business (6%)
8. Break time (7%)
7. Watching TV or Internet videos (7%)
6. Non-business related conversations (7%)
5. Procrastination (10%)
4. Travel time / commuting (17%)
3. Surfing the Internet (22%)
2. Meetings (42%)
1. Email (44%)

When asked why they waste time, most respondents said “Feeling uninspired” and “Feeling stressed” – 67% of respondents cited them as the top reasons for killing time. (I find that very interesting because wasting time generally results in work piling up…which leads to more stress.)

According to a recent press release:

“With ‘email’ and ‘meetings’ neck-and-neck at #1 and #2 in our survey, obviously we spend a great deal of time each day communicating,” said Stephen Dodd, CEO of OfficeTime. “If we’re going to spend that large percentage of our day communicating, we have to look at how our communication can boost productivity. A key way to accomplish that is to make sure your communications are in the clearest, most effective way possible.”

A smart tip for sure…the clearer we communicate, the less “back and forth” messages – and valuable time – required.

Comparing the OfficeTime list with “a day in the life of Dawn,” #1 and #9 take a lot of my time (though I  consider them business essentials rather than time wasters).  What about you? How does this year’s list match up with your own “time killers.”?

By Dawn Mentzer
Another Insatiable Solopreneur™ Post

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