succeed in business

How to Stop Wasting Time and Succeed in Business

Of the many entrepreneurs I have talked to I have asked most of them the following question:

“What’s the biggest time waster for entrepreneurs?”

Read below how some real entrepreneurs answer:

chadparks-success-harbor-interviewChad ParksCEO of The Online 401(K)

“So, I’m glad you asked that because for the last five years or so I’ve been actually looking at that myself, and really just try and get control of my schedule and figure out where my time is going and how can I be more efficient with it. And part of that answer is what I mentioned earlier which is that you really need to surround yourself with good people who can complement you and you have to trust them, and you need to do some of the hard work of making sure that the systems and policies and procedures are in place so that you’re not always chasing fires. And so those last five years of work have really been for me to challenge myself and challenge my team by adjusting my schedule and by putting myself off limits in some cases and by keeping myself out of things in some cases. And really just trying to come up with a rhythm for my week. And most recently within the last six months I came across an organisation called Strategic Coach, and they are exactly about that, which is maximising your time, making sure that your input gets the highest output and they come up with a sort of series of ways of segmenting your time and in a very simple form they call them buffer days, focus days, and free days. And so when you start to think about your life in that way and how your spending it then you kind of change your mind about it’s not just about hours worked, it’s about output and when you get into that mind-set then things really become more of a game for you and you say ‘how can I get it in and get out, get it done, and how can I ensure that my team is operating like that too?’ And so it’s been an evolution, I have to be open-minded to it, but I know a lot of entrepreneurs get caught in that trap of I have to do everything, you know there’s no predictability, but my challenge to them would be to say, you know, there are ways to get control, it’s just a matter of wanting it bad enough and finding the tools to help you do so.”

Jason-Sadler-Success-Harbor-InterviewJason SadlerIWearYourShirt

“Social media, and it’s funny because I’ve built my living on social media and I built my name on social media but the value of social media has plummeted, I mean there’s really almost no value because of the way that we interact with these networks. If you look at anybody on their phone looking at twitter or Facebook their finger is scrolling at a speed that could start a fire, right? I mean, it’s so fast and how is your message going to resonate or do that and why do you need to read so much of that stuff. We’re literally dumbing ourselves down because we’re over consuming all this information and I think that there are so many talented entrepreneurs out there who focus on just consuming all day long instead of creating and you can lean so much more from creating when you came from learning all the ‘7 tips’ blog posts and the ‘4 ways to do these things’ and I think that social media is so great in so many ways but it’s also so hurtful in so many ways because of how much time we spend and how much effort we put into consuming all that content.”

Jason-Weisenthal-success-harbor-interviewJason WeisenthalWallMonkeys

“Email. I think people look at their email too often, I think people spend too much time on email you know. Somebody told me and it’s true, email is somebody else’s agenda. It’s not your agenda. If you have your list of 3 most important things you’re going to do today, that’s never going to be in your inbox. Your inbox is somebody else’s stuff. I think people need to visit their email much less often and keep their replies much shorter. Even though it’s probably not the best idea I do usually attack my email in a burst, like first thing in the morning. I wake up really early. Usually I pour my coffee and try and eliminate as many as I can and then I focus on my top 3 things for the day. I had a, I had a point that just slipped my head. Oh, I know what I was going to say. One of the things that’s really helped me was to figure out when I’m most productive, meaning if I need to write content or if I need to write a blog or whenever is going to require my most creative energy I know that time for me is in the morning, it’s like sometime between 6 am and 11 am and once I hit about 1 or 2 o’clock in the afternoon I can still work but I’m not going to have that same level of productivity. Somebody else might be productive at night. I think it’s really important for entrepreneurs to understand when their most productive, get their most, best work done in those times, like embrace that and then don’t fight it when you’re not in the zone.”

jim-wang-success-harbor-interviewJim WangMicroblogger

“That’s probably email and social media and surfing the web. It’s distractions. It’s going down, chasing the next shiny thing and being able to focus is huge and so to the extent that you can reduce the number of distractions and you know build yourself a work day where that doesn’t happen as often. That’s what I think is the biggest.”




“I think there’s, there are a lot of people that worry about stuff that might be problems down the road but aren’t problems yet. People worry you know too much about like what kind of software they’re using and just issues that aren’t going to be issues for them for a long time to come. I kind of tell people well you know worry about what web posting that they have. It’s like it doesn’t really matter because you only have fifty people that go to your website a day so I think if you, if you worry about problems, you worry about problems when they become problems. You don’t worry about them ahead of time, I guess is what I’m trying to say.”


natalie-sisson-success-harbor-interviewNatalie SissonThe Suitcase Entrepreneur

“Ironically, I think it was probably social media. So, a lot of people jump on it and they get caught up in reading tons of feeds and different messages and videos and photos rather than going on and thinking, “Ok, today I’m going to connect with these 5 people, I’m going to answer questions in these 3 groups and I’m going to spend 5-10 minutes just connecting with my friends and then I’m going to get off it again and do some real work. So I think when used properly, it’s a great personal tool and it’s a great business tool but unfortunately people, I think, use it as an excuse for procrastination and not getting work done and I’ve definitely done that myself.”


nellie-akalp-success-harbor-interviewNellie AkalpCorpNet

“Well I think it really depends on the type of business that you are in but I think as an entrepreneur you definitely want to owning in the path that you are really good at doing and delegate the ones that you are really not good at doing and give them to other that are great at doing those tasks.”





“You know I think sometimes, listening, listening to the wrong people, listening to too much advice. Sometimes you need to like you know you don’t want to live in a bubble but if you have a belief in something you’re heading towards, listening to too many people will simply detract you from that goal right and I think the listening I try and do is through the platform, you know looking for natural signs of life. Is it growing faster, where, how etc. right. But if I listen too much to people, I tend, you know you can get very questioning. You start questioning their questioning and you know that can be a bad thing.”



richard-marriott-success-harbor-interviewRichard MarriottClambr

“I definitely say the biggest timewaster is trying to do too many things at once. When your getting into blogging, it can be so overwhelming, you read posts “oh this guy should be telling me I should be doing this I should be getting on Tumblr and Pinterest. This guy is saying I should increase my Twitter followers, this guy is saying get on YouTube set up YouTube account” I mean the most important thing to do, things like that for example dabbling in different things at the beginning, what you need to do is just focus on mainly one social network at a time or mainly one a particular strategy at a time rather than spreading yourself thin. I think too many people try to get popular on the different social networks, they waste too much time on that, when they should just be focusing on building up their traffic. So the biggest waste of time is just letting all the noise get to you and stopping you from assuming what you originally set out to do. I’m sure so many times, I’m sure you have experience it George, you are on a course to do something and someone something in your ear saying oh you’ve got to be doing this and then you stop half way through what you’re originally doing, try something else and then once you done that you know you’re just in a mess right?”

rick-day-success-harbor-interviewRick DayBusiness by Day

“I would say worrying. Worrying about the future, worrying about what might happen if things go wrong and then I would say the second time-waster would be, when you start off on your path and you start a company or you’re pursuing your dream, that attracts a lot of people and you make a lot of noise if you will or if you’re a boat, you know you’re kicking off a big wake and people are attracted to that and they want you to–, they want to join you, they want your advice, they want you to sell their product for them and so, you get so many distractions that come at you, you really have to stay focused and say no to a lot of things.”


susan-baroncini-moe-success-harbor-interviewSusan Baroncini-MoeBusiness in Blue Jeans

“The biggest time waster. Gosh there are so many. And and I think it’s a good question. One is probably social media. I do think it really is dependent on the business. What is your business and what are you spending your time doing you know that’s important. I recommend everybody kind of every month or so keeps a couple of days where they keep a time log to see where they’re losing time so they can start to address it but social media is a big one, especially if you don’t have much of a following or your target market isn’t where your egging out. So if you’re not connecting with your target market in social media, it’s a waste of time anyway. The other area I think people waste a lot of time is going to these like business-card-exchanging, hand-shaking networking meetings where they don’t actually get any business and I think that you know these networking meetings, one thing I’ve experienced is people are always saying “Let’s go have coffee, I’d love to have coffee with you sometime.” Yea that’s great but how do you have time for coffee? I’m working, I’m writing, I’m connecting, I’m doing business most of the time so I always try to turn those, “Let’s have coffee” dates into “No, let’s actually have a phone call” and in the instances where it turns into, okay this could actually be a useful relationship that could ultimately yield business then okay we’ll go for coffee if there’s a reason to but for the most part I like to initiate my relationships with a phone call because it’s a huge timesaver and most of those people who are out having coffee, they feel like they’re busy and they feel like they’re being productive but being productive and being busy are two different things.”

syed-balkhi-success-harbor-interviewSyed BalkhiWP Beginner

“Distraction. It could be anything, it could be social media. I think not being organized is the biggest time-waster. Start time-tracking yourself, whether you use something like a Rescue Time, I personally use Time Doctor, it takes screenshots and really hold yourself accountable and see where you’re wasting your time.”





“Oh that’s easy. Getting good at the wrong thing. Getting good at the wrong thing is the tragedy of our time. Everybody wakes up and goes to work and 99 percent of those people are getting good at something they don’t like. Don’t get good at something you don’t like. Why? Let somebody else be good at that because they probably like it. So that’s the biggest time waster without a doubt. Without a doubt.”



tyler-jensen-success-harbor-interviewTyler JensenThe Startup Garage

“Well I can answer this a couple different ways I think first thing that pops in my mind it’s that entrepreneurs are not falling in love with their product or service and the big picture of things the products and service is really only about 5 percent of building a company and so I find much time just diving in doing product development, and doing product development and reiterating and reiterating which is important but they ignore all the other parts of the business as well, so I think that’s probably the best way to answer that question.”


In the comments below let us know what You think is the biggest time waster for entrepreneurs.

The following two tabs change content below.
George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.

Latest posts by George Meszaros (see all)

6 thoughts on “How to Stop Wasting Time and Succeed in Business”

  1. George: Could it be to read posts like this?! 😉 Bad joke. Thanks for compiling these insights from big entrepreneurs! What do you think is the biggest time-waster? To read and reply to comment like this?! 😉 I am sorry, I am under the weather, having a cold, so I must be in a strange mood!

    Keep up your great work! 🙂

    All the Best,

    Martin Lindeskog

  2. Great views from diverse group of people. In general, my observation is that the small tasks that pop throughout the day are great time wasters. Any time you switch from one task to another you are incurring loss of focus and it needs extra time to get back to the other task at hand. A good example is the mail alert popup in Microsoft Outlook. When you leave your current work to look at the email you are losing focus and valuable time needed to complete the task at hand.

Leave a Comment