7 Productivity-Killing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Need to Stop Making

Don Suave’

For entrepreneurs, getting the most out of your time is crucial to your long-term success. Your productivity could be that asset that sets you apart from the competition; allowing you to automate your hustle. Your lack of it could lead to you not getting the results that you want. Beware of any of these productivity-siphoning mistakes infecting your business.

Local Hardware

Large enterprises have their own on-site data centers with offsite backups, but startups usually don’t have access to that kind of equipment. Not only does this affect your data management and internet connectivity, but even your in-office operations.

Image Credit: Printer Logic

For print-heavy businesses, old in-house printing servers are prohibitively expensive to set up and maintain, since you will probably need a specialist just to manage them. Consider an inexpensive, cloud-based solution, which will almost certainly increase reliability, decrease downtime, and improve productivity.

Small Talk

No one is immune to the temptation to engage in small talk. However, the reality is that small talk is one of the biggest time killers out there. It might not seem like a lot when you’re only having a few conversations of a couple of minutes long here and there.

But when you add them all up, you could be shocked at how much time and money you’ve wasted over the course of a year. To find out how much small talk is really costing your business, add up the total hours you think you’ve spent on small talk and multiply it by your hourly income rate.

Activity Instead of Results

Movement often gets recognized in the workplace. But as someone who plays in the business game, you need to measure yourself differently. As an entrepreneur it is important that you never partake in ‘busy work’; things that effect the bottom line. Look only at your results, not the time you spent on them.

Identify Key Performance Indicators for the company as a whole, for each profit center, each team, and even each job.

Every team member should know, in concrete terms, whether or not they are performing up to standards.

Social Media Connectivity

Some team members will need access to social media to manage your online presence. Most don’t. Platforms like Facebook were specifically designed to be addictive (see below). So it’s probably best for access to be limited.

There’s no need to be a nag about it, but you should install some basic filters on some workstations to prevent Kylie Jenner’s baby photos on Instagram from stealing team members’ valuable time away from vital tasks.

Lack of Vision

Without a clear plan, you can’t possibly know which direction to go in. Before anything else, make sure your actions are getting you closer to your ideal outcome. Visualize it before you do it, and your productivity will shoot up. Lack of vision and focus could ultimately be your downfall if you let it.

Soft Deadlines

If you give someone three weeks to do something, it will likely take them three days. If you give that same person the same task but give them three weeks to do it, guess how long it will take them. Three weeks! This is how humans work. When there is scarcity of time, more sh** gets done.

Deadlines apply pressure to your goals. Without deadlines, you’re bound to float around and fail to get results. Put pressure on yourself and your team with strategic timelines and rewards for following through.


For most businesses, payroll is the largest single expense. When cash flow is tight, and your niche is technical, it’s tempting to hold off hiring team members and training leaders. However, if the leader-to-team-member ratio exceeds about 1:8 for very homogenous jobs and 1:5 for differentiated jobs, you need to add a layer of leadership.

Another barometer for your need to delegate is whether you’re spending time working in the business, or whether you’re working on the business, which is what entrepreneurs like you want to be doing.

Time is money, especially when you’re starting out. The more you can do the more you can grow. Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter and start getting results in the areas that are important to you by cutting out the time wasters mentioned above.

We put together a list of tools that have helped us to get our time back. If you’d like to see them head over to the productivity section of our resources area.

Now start buying your time back so you can automate your hustle!

Bryan “Don Suave ‘“ McNeil-Walker is a music producer of over 20 years with a passion for marketing. After immersing himself in digital marketing for four years he founded Alavon Enterprises to help provide entrepreneurs and creatives the tools and solutions to grow their business/brand in the new digital age. His belief is that the marketing of today and tomorrow is social, automated and mobile.