Consultants Need To Stop Wasting Time

Consultants waste a lot of time. And it’s understandable in some ways.

Most independent consultants work from a home-office and have no boss looking over their shoulder.

You know what I’m talking about right? The way you check your email every 10-20 minutes. Log into Facebook or Twitter several times a day. And not to mention reading the latest blog or local news throughout the day.

I’m not alone in thinking this, check out the video at the bottom of this post…but come on…

Really, you just need to stop it!

I know it’s enjoyable, but you’re wasting a lot of time. I was often guilty of this. I wasn’t big on Facebook or Twitter (I am now on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MichaelZipursky) but I did devour marketing reports, the latest blog posts from experts in their field – and email all the time.

I figured I was wasting time, but not until I really took a close look at how much time I was wasting – close to 1.5 hours a day – did I take action to stop. And I’m guessing there’s those of you that spend even more time than that reading about other people’s business.

You see, the thing is, most of the stuff you read is great, it may even be helpful to your business in one way or another, but the more time you spend on that, the less time you’re actually spending on building your business.

Here’s what I suggest you do, and what I’ve found to work…

Group your activities into sections throughout the day. If you need to Tweet here, update your Facebook page or read a blog there, that’s all good. But do it at the beginning or end of each day. Likewise, with email. Check your email as few times as possible.

Ideally, once in the morning and once at the end of the day. This allows you to focus on getting real work done. You know, marketing your consulting services, sending out proposals, working on client projects, etc. The more often you check your email and have to reply, the more distracted you’ll be and the less ‘actual’ work you’ll get done.

I know, you’re likely thinking “I can’t do that, my clients need responses right away.” I’m glad you’re thinking of being so professional. But many consultants don’t reply to emails within 12 to 24 hours. So if you reply once at 7 or 8 am and then again at 4pm you’ll be ahead of most – plus you won’t be wasting time.

Where technology fails

If something is urgent, your client can call you. All the developments in technology have made people feel that everything has to be instant these days. I love the technology but this thinking is all messed up. There are too many distractions, you need to cut through this clutter and organize each day so that you get the most results and work done you possibly can.

The more you get done, the better you’ll feel. And the more successful you’ll be.

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  • Yes, social networking and answering emails can end up being time suckage. I use hootsuite (plus social oomph) which allows me to update my sm sites so that I don’t get caught up. And Google reader along with Alltop have helped aggregate my blogs/reading info.