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Three time-sucking tasks you need to optimise today

Three time-sucking tasks you need to optimise today

Fab Giovanetti

Do you know much about Benjamin Franklin?  You may not know that, among other things, he was a master of the art of productivity. He did everything he could to avoid time-sucking tasks.

He wore many different hats during his lifetime: author, painter, entrepreneur, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, and diplomat to name a few. In his autobiography, however, he shares a technique that helped him stay focused on his goals: a daily schedule.

What I noticed about the schedule was that it was incredibly tight (something he admittedly struggled to follow).

What I truly loved about his schedule were two questions he would ask himself every day. At the top of his schedule he printed:

“Morning Question, what good shall I do this day?”

At the end of his schedule, before he went to sleep, he’d ask himself

“What good have I done today?”

This, I believe, was Benjamin’s Franklin definition of success. Success should not be about how much you accomplish but defining the meaningful things you worked on any specific day. It may be one task, it may be three.

Making time for those tasks, the ones that get you closer to your goal, is where the magic really happens. What are the time-sucking tasks then? Most people struggle with juggling these tasks on a daily basis.

Emails and inbox

According to McKinsey Institute, we spend close to a third of our work time managing emails. The average person checks email 77 times a day, sends and receives more than 122 email messages a day, and spends 28 per cent or more of their workweek managing a constant influx of email.

On average, you spend thirteen hours a week scrolling through your email – EEKS.

One of the trickiest things to set, when it comes to emails, is boundaries.

Since it’s really hard to have a face to face conversation with people nowadays we have to find other ways to communicate — and emails have almost become the best way to conversate with teammates and clients alike.

You may want to start setting up an autoresponder for specific days of your week to take a break from your inbox. Some entrepreneurs never take theirs off and use it as an opportunity to state response times and answer frequently asked questions.

Social media posting

We need time to hone our craft — to be better tomorrow than we were today. If we don’t batch some tasks using tools at our disposal, we’ll put this hard work off until tomorrow. I always recommend looking at ways to batch schedule your social content in order to create more time for everything else.

By using tools like Tailwind you can schedule your posts ahead of time and save yourself a lot of time. You can also use these tools to help you monitor your social media accounts, so you can see what’s working and what’s not.

Always start small when it comes to consistency in your schedule, and you can increase and adapt as you go along.

Admin tasks

Having a team that supports you with the small tasks (mainly admin) can be what literally makes or breaks a day.

See Also

when you’re running a blog and a business it’s just not possible to do everything yourself! I outsource my tax return to a qualified accountant, I don’t want to spend time working out how to do it when there’s someone who’s going to be much better at doing it anyway.

In your personal life, you can enlist help to keep on top of the household chores. Professionally, you can also hire a VA to help you with research and keeping on top of admin tasks.

It might sound like a luxury but it’s all about priorities and how you value your time. All these tasks take you away from doing my job and business where your time is utilised best.

Identify which time-sucking tasks affect you

If you are struggling to identify where to start with streamlining your workday,  start with getting clear on which areas of your business need attention right now.

Although it may take some effort to get used to a new system at first, you will quickly find that you have more time to focus on the things that are important to you.

In order to be productive, it’s important that we become masters of our time and learn to identify tasks that suck up our time unnecessarily. Once we’ve eliminated these time-sucking tasks, we can use that reclaimed time to focus on the tasks that are important to us.

By optimising our time in this way, we can become more productive and achieve more in a shorter period of time.


Looking for more help with making the most of your time? Check out our Built to Scale accelerator, a 4-week program to help you set up powerful systems for your business.