Business owners know that it’s important to stay on top of their work. Unfortunately, sometimes we get bogged down in the minute tasks of the day. There are plenty of mundane tasks that could be wasting profitable time you could using to accomplish something better.

According to an article on Entrepreneur, most American workers spend most of their day on menial tasks related to scheduling, answering emails, and meetings. Business owners aren’t immune to this reality. Chances are a good chunk of your day is being eaten up by tasks that don’t really provide you mental stimulation — or business breakthroughs.

Here are 5 mundane tasks that might be wasting your valuable time:

1. Scheduling

This is one of the biggest time-sucks, according to the Entrepreneur article. And it’s no surprise. It can take several emails just to nail down one meeting time, and it’s even worse when there are multiple participants.

You can reduce the amount of time scheduling takes up by using tools like Doodle, that allow participants to respond to the best times at once, and cut back. It’s also possible to hire an assistant to do most of that work, freeing you up for more important big-picture business tasks.

2. Social Media

For the longest time, social media was the bane of my existence. The social media sharing required for a business owner on the Internet can get overwhelming. You can spend two or three hours coordinating shares. I hated it.

Then I hired a virtual assistant who does nothing but manage my social media. I have freed up more time to work on my business. The net benefit — in terms of finances and time — has been great. Even if you don’t hire someone, you can use scheduling tools to help you condense the time you spend on social media so that you can stop wasting profitable time due to task-switching.

3. Meetings

You might be surprised at how much time you can waste in meetings. Make an effort to create more effective meetings — or even have fewer meetings. Most meetings are just wasting profitable time on items that can probably handled over email.

4. Answering Email

I started relegating email to specific times of the day. One of the biggest productivity sucks is constantly task-switching, and email is a major offender. I check my email at strategic points during the day to avoid getting bogged down.

If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again, or sending similar emails, create templates or canned responses. This can reduce the time you spend answering email and help you get to more important aspects of your business.

5. Bookkeeping/Accounting

If you want to save time, outsource your bookkeeping and accounting needs. Even if you don’t outsource all of these items, you can still get ahead. Choose a program like Due that can help you invoice and get paid like a pro. Plus, time tracking and other features make it even easier to stay on top of the situation.

I hire an accountant to prepare my taxes. It makes everything much easier in the long run.

Make sure you stay organized as well. While it can take a little time to get a good system in place, the reality is that you can stop wasting profitable time in the long run when you have the right organization and systems to help you.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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