Do Entrepreneurs Waste Time? 5 Time Killers To Avoid

Time can be wasted unintentionally by anyone without realizing it. It happens to everyone, but do entrepreneurs waste time?

After years in the business world, I’ve come to realize that it’s a resounding yes. We often find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of tasks that seem important but are actually draining our productivity.

From my experience and expertise, I’ve identified five common time killers that entrepreneurs, including myself, often fall victim to.

In this article, I’ll share these pitfalls and provide practical advice on how to avoid them, ensuring that you, like me, can focus on what truly matters for your business.

UPDATED: JULY 15, 2023

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Entrepreneurs’ top time killers: How do we deal with it?

Regardless of whether you’re distracted or not delegating your tasks, you can take action now. Moreover, I’m going to give some of my best tips for entrepreneurs to get the most out of their time.

  1. Failing To Prioritize Your Tasks
  2. Ineffective Communication With Your Team
  3. Getting Distracted By The Internet & Technology
  4. Not Delegating Repetitive Work
  5. Lack Of Organization Or Structure

Do Entrepreneurs Waste Time?

Entrepreneurs can often waste time on tasks that don’t directly contribute to their business growth. This includes getting distracted by technology, failing to delegate repetitive tasks, and not prioritizing their work effectively. By recognizing these time killers and implementing strategies to combat them, entrepreneurs can use their time more efficiently and focus on tasks that truly matter to their business.

Do entrepreneurs waste time? This post talks about common time killers for entrepreneurs to avoid.

Failing to prioritize your tasks

One of the most important things an entrepreneur needs to do is prioritize their work tasks.

If they don’t do it, it can be difficult to figure out what needs to get done first.

It can lead you to fall behind on deadlines or scramble up work at the last minute. 

Working on things at the last minute can lead to poor work (or a sense of feeling rushed). Especially if it’s work that needs attention, it’s not the best practice for entrepreneurs.

When there’s a sense of urgency, prioritization is key to knocking out work that needs to get done. Everything else can be saved for later.

Do entrepreneurs waste time? Sticky notes are helpful to keep track of tasks for time.

Best Tip: Write out a list of three priorities to fulfill daily

It may sound like an extra step, but writing out your tasks can be very helpful.

Planning out your day (or an entire week) helps give you figure out what has to get done sooner than later.

Without a list of tasks, some people will just work on what’s convenient or the easiest task to work on.

One thing I do most days is write a shortlist of the priorities I need to get done. I usually write out 2-3 things that I have to get done in moving my business forward.

There are some days when I want to do more, but I can only do so much in one day.

If I can manage to get three things accomplished, I’ll be satisfied. This approach has helped me out a lot when writing effective to-do lists.

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Ineffective communication with your team

Regardless of the type of business, communication is necessary to get things straight across the board. Without it, any business can easily break down and fail.

It’s best to keep it moderate, rather than too much or very little of it.

But it does matter when your business is not growing or making significant revenue. 

When you don’t communicate well with your employees, you end up wasting time explaining things over again.

Or if you do communicate with them, make sure to clarify questions or concerns your team may not understand.

It’s good practice to explain things clearly. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but getting straight to the point is necessary.

Why Do Most Entrepreneurs Quit?

Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey filled with ups and downs. Many entrepreneurs quit because they face obstacles such as financial difficulties, lack of market demand, or personal issues. However, it’s important to remember that these challenges are part of the journey. Persistence, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from mistakes are key traits that can help entrepreneurs overcome these hurdles and succeed.

Do entrepreneurs waste time?-Communication properly with employees is a necessity.

Best Tip: Determine what works best for your business

Determine what kind of message will work best for your business.

For example, is it better to have regular meetings each week? Or is email a better approach?

It can vary, but anything simple such as email announcements is all you may need.

As for myself, I prefer to communicate in writing since I have a strong work ethic.

The majority of the time, I find things to be explained clearly when I see emails about a specific topic. 

Also, one-on-one meetings work well because I ask a lot of questions, and maybe clarify what an individual is communicating to me.

I do my best to understand what’s expected between myself and a group of employees.

It may be easier said than done, but self-monitoring is critical to time management. It is always good to make it a regular habit to check in on your time spend on some activities. It’s worth the challenge to put in the effort, as it can make a difference down the road.

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Getting distracted by the internet & technology

Like any other person, an entrepreneur can get easily distracted through the web or an electronic device.

Technology is essential to business, but it does not do what it’s supposed to: assist us with our work. People’s behavior is too often controlled by it. 

Business owners are not exempt from distractions either. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole when you’re bombarded with text messages or email notifications from your computer. 

The same applies to checking social media, where your time might not be best spent.

Sure, you can be online for business and marketing purposes. But you might get taken away by the news or checking out personal stuff once in a while.

Best Tip: Self-monitor your personal time

It may be easier said than done, but self-monitoring is critical to time management. It’s always good to make it a regular habit to check in on your time spend on some activities.

It’s worth the challenge to put in the effort, as it can make a difference down the road.

Some simple things you can try out include timers that are set up on your computer or smartphone.

It’s not that hard to set a timer for 15-20 minutes to check your social media accounts.

Without it, you might end up scrolling through Facebook for more than an hour (which has happened to me before!).

Other things you can check out include time management apps.

The ones that I’ve used include Rescuetime and Freedom, which help monitor your time spent on websites.

They can be very helpful and limits your time on distracting websites when you intend to be doing productive work.

Not delegating repetitive work

Delegating is very important to execute as you scale your business. If you don’t do it properly, you’ll spend more time on tasks that don’t add value to your business.

In other words, doing more routine work that does not get your business to grow.

By not delegating your tasks, you’ll have more work to do that can take up your day.

In some cases, even an entire week if not planned out can have an impact on your work.

Going back to the deadline point, it may be more challenging to get things done in a short period of time. 

Also, it’s harder to balance your time spent working “in” the business and “on” the business.

Those are phrases that entrepreneurs think about all the time while growing their businesses.

Do entrepreneurs waste time?- Woman looking at people in a hierarchy chart.

Best Tip: When the time is right, delegate and outsource whenever possible

When you have more work responsibilities, don’t overwhelm yourself when you need help. If there’s work you’re not really good at (but necessary for the business), assign those tasks to people that do very well with that workload.

Or simply put, assign tasks to others that can do a better job at it than you.

Common tasks include administrative work and basic customer support. Those types of tasks should be left to others instead of you as a business owner.

Especially if you hate grunt work, you want to give that to someone else to do. If you can’t do it, try automating it whenever possible. 

What Is The Hardest Thing For Entrepreneurs?

The hardest thing for entrepreneurs often varies depending on their individual circumstances and the nature of their business. However, common challenges include raising capital, finding the right team, dealing with uncertainty, and maintaining a work-life balance. Perhaps the most difficult aspect is managing time effectively, which is why it’s crucial to identify and avoid common time killers.

Lack of organization or structure

Here’s a scenario: You walk into your messy office and find papers and files scattered all over.

There are still a lot of things you need to tackle. Workplaces and offices that are cluttered can cause frustration and headaches.

Consequently, you end up spending more time looking for things (and rearranging them as well). 

When that happens, you lose time getting straight to your priorities. More so, it’s unintentionally putting off your important work until later in the day.

Do entrepreneurs waste time? Business figures in a man's hand.

Best Tip: Leave out things that need to get done the day before

To make things easier, it’s always good to put out work that needs to get done the day before.

Before calling it a day, lay out any paperwork or things you’ll need when you start your day tomorrow.

When the next day comes, you’ll know what needs to get done first thing in the morning (or whenever you start working).

For me, this practice helps me tremendously as I get to work right away.

Also, it is simple for anyone to do whether you work in an office or a workspace at home. 

The last thing you need is papers piled all over your desk (unorganized). As I mentioned, it’s less frustrating and stressful when you’re more organized this way.

A relevant article from

Read next on “What Do You Do To Effectively Manage Your Time? Top 7 Tips”, to learn some effective tips to manage your time better.

Final Words

Any type of entrepreneur can waste time on things that don’t matter. Especially when they’re not prioritizing their work, they can end up working more than they should. 

By laying out these common time killers, it can be easier to recognize why that happens. Hopefully, these can solutions can help any entrepreneur manage their time efficiently. 

Also, these tips can help anyone grow their business and take it to the next level. It’s all about making an effort and making them good habits.

Your Turn: How do you tackle common business problems?

Does time management pose a problem for you as a business owner? Do you engage in any of the time killers mentioned earlier? What are you going to do to address these problems? 

Your feedback and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. If you have a comment you would like to leave, I’ll gladly respond back to you as soon as possible.

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Eric is the owner and chief editor of 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

10 thoughts on “Do Entrepreneurs Waste Time? 5 Time Killers To Avoid”

  1. What is my biggest time killer? My mobile phone- in order to not get distracted from my business, it needs to be at the other side of the room on silent. 

    Like, wow. who knew WhatsApp could be so distracting? Tiktok is just as bad. They are awesome apps but need to be kept in their place. When I am on the computer I use writing games to keep me on task. 

    The games where you have to write so many words within a time limit or else; without it, I would find a cat video, or a new blog to read. It is so easy to get distracted with the world at your fingertips. One has to actively fight against it or they will not get much done.

    I love your tip about making a list. I used to do that, it definitely helped. I should probably start doing that again.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I hear you when it comes to your mobile phone. A lot of people, (even myself in the past) get distracted and caught up with their phones.

      As much as the apps are helpful, they can be just as distracting. The games you mentioned fall under the same category. So many of these apps (or games) can be significant time killers. If you don’t self-monitor your activities, you end up doing things that aren’t meaningful. Especially when it comes to working on your business, it’s not a great use of time.

      You certainly should get in the habit of making a list. It’s something I do every day, and it helps me stay on track with what needs to get done. It’s a great way to prioritize my day ahead of time. So give it a try, for sure.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comment. It’s much appreciated!

  2. As a Sole Proprietor, I can attest to the three out of five killers to avoid; *Prioritize your Tasks, *Getting distracted, *Lacking organization”.  

    Once I Identified these areas, I immediately started using a things-to-do list that helped me stay focused (no longer distracted), meet deadlines, and not get overwhelmed. Now, I am in a good place and succeeding at building a business.  

    This article is very informative for individuals experiencing issues in any one of the five areas.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I’m glad you figured out which one of the time killers to avoid. Anyone of us can fall under one of these traps if we’re not careful. You realize how frustrated it can be, but it’s possible to manage them.

      It’s great you’re using a to-do list to try out this practice. It can help immensely when you run a business. If you stick with the practices, you’ll definitely see positive changes. Also, it’ll make running your business more efficient.

      Thank you for reading and providing helpful feedback. Much appreciated- all the best!

  3. Hello,

    As an entrepreneur myself, I really enjoyed your article because I clearly saw myself in some situations. The most critical issue for me is the addiction to the Internet and my favorite TV shows.

    I am even watching one of them while I am working right now… I thought about it last week and I conluded that I needed serious improvement in this area. For example, during my working hours, I’ll work without my iPad around. Hope this  will work.

    • Hi there,

      Having those little addictions is not easy, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. Those pleasures are nice to have, but they can add up with lost time.

      Your  example of not using your IPad during work hours is a great start. Going without that helps you stay focused on your priorities. I know that from my personal experience. So keep doing that.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- much appreciated!

  4. I could relate to a lot of what you’ve said. Technology is a huge distraction for me as it pulls me in too many directions at once.

    Other than making lists prioritizing what needs to be done, I try to get the boring jobs I don’t really want to do done first. That way I can make more time for concentrating on bigger picture items. 

    I think once you recognize your personal time wasters, you can learn to work smarter not harder. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hi Lee,

      It’s common these days for technology to be huge distractions for us. It was for me early on, as a I learned to work around those distractions.

      The approach you mentioned is neat. Getting the boring tasks done first can be effective for some people. I’ve never been a fan of that type of work.

      For me, I’ve taken the approach of getting the most challenging work done first. That way, I can do the more boring stuff later. When I have low energy or feel fatigued near the end of the day, that’s the best time for me to do all of the easy tasks done.

      But everyone is different in their work ethics. Once you recognize your time wasters, you definitely can work smarter, not harder. I think that’s what we all should aim to do.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. They’re greatly appreciated.

  5. I think most of us know very well what our biggest time-wasters are. 

    For me, it’s the TV. I try to work while watching shows sometimes, and it never works. My productivity level plummets and I end the day wondering why I got next to nothing done. 

    I have to stick to working in my office, where there is no television by design. 

    I do love the idea of writing down priority tasks each day. I tend to just jump into what is most urgent. But sometimes, there are other things I have to get done and I end up hitting them late in the day.

    • Hi Theresa,

      Common time-wasters such as watching TV are a big challenge for some people. Watching TV is something most people grew up with. But when it comes to multitasking in between work and TV time, productivity can plummet.

      What you’re doing by having no TV set in your office is a great practice. For me, I would have a difficult time trying to watch TV while working. I’m much less efficient and not as focused as I would without a TV set.

      Doing what’s urgent (as long as it’s a priority) is not a problem. But if that urgent task is not a priority, then it’s best to pass it on and do something more important. 

      Whenever you’re presented with a priority, just ask yourself: Will this task (assignment or project) get me to the next level in business? Will these tasks help move the needle forward? Will they help me get to the place where I want to go?

      Those are good questions to consider the next time you’re not sure about what to do.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re very much appreciated.


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