A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute study found that only 39% of a worker’s time is spent on role-specific tasks. The other 61%? Reading articles in SmallBusiness.com, perhaps? Not likely, however responding to email is likely high on the list. Recently, Ben Taylor writing for the Dropbox Blog, rounded up some suggestions for wasting all that time. We’ve added some of our favorites, as well.


1 | Cut out as many meetings as you can

One of the best things about working in a small business is the lack of meetings. However, if you do have lots of meetings, here are some suggestions for trimming the time.

  • Cut back on the number of people attending the meeting
  • Know exactly what the goal of the meeting is beforehand — and prepare
  • Communicate in other ways, like using project management software
  • Have the meeting at the coffee machine and finish it before finishing your coffee

2 | Use Project management software

Most of the time-sucking things that waste your day can be organized and managed using a project management platform. At SmallBusiness.com, we use Basecamp 3. Use it constantly and you’ll wonder what you did before it existed. There are other project management software platforms, but Basecamp is the Goldilocks for use: not to big and not to small. Just right. Best thing: You don’t lose stuff that you recall may have been, wait, no it was somewhere else.

3 | Phase out email as much as possible

See #2.

4 | Sleep

Sleep deprivation costs U.S. businesses more than $60 billion per year. A well-rested employee working six hours will often beat a sleep-deprived person working 10. Suggest they do the sleeping at night, however.

5 | Take breaks

Career coaches suggest that simply switching work tasks is often not enough. In order to recharge, you should step away from your desk at least once every 90 minutes, say the experts.

VIA | Dropbox Blog

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