Avoid These Bad Habits That Will Impact Your Business

Posted on 9th May 2017 in Business

Written by Freya Hughes

When do bad habits start to really become a problem? Grabbing some fast food for a quick pick-me-up can seem like a good idea (sugar = energy, right?), but selecting the right sort of snack can make a big difference to your day. Similarly, a beer might give you that relaxing moment at the end of a long day, but even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect sleep for up to two nights following. When you’re running your own business, you need to consider these lifestyle choices and how they’re going to impact your short-term and your long-term. One more hour of work might seem harmless, but has that extra screen time taken an hour out of your sleep time? It’s essential to look after yourself so you can look after your business, so in this blog, we’ve summed up a few vital bad habits you need to break for the good of your company.

When you’re setting up for the first time on your own, you’re taking on a lot. Bad habits can set in early – be it simple corner-cutting or things that are hugely important for your business and life. Roy F Baumeister, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and author, states,

“If you have people exert self-control and deplete their willpower and later on have them make decisions, then their decision-making is of poor quality.”

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest this is the case. If you consider yourself as a full time employee at your business, would you enforce a 14-hour day on your managers? If not, why would you do it to yourself? You need to be on top form to be able to make life-altering (and business-altering) decisions, so let’s have a look at which bad habits you need to cut out of your life to make your business as well as it can.

Ignoring downtime

Can you think of how many evenings you’ve spent not looking at screens this year? As a business owner, it might seem imperative that you’re constantly on call if anything goes wrong. But, when you are needed to fix something, how can you help if you’ve burnt yourself? Looking back at Baumeister’s statement above, you might find yourself rushing into a decision to placate the issue that’s come up. This could, in fact, end up causing you more work later down the line, making you burn out even quicker.

Remember Arianna Huffington’s infamous crash in 2007? Writing in her book, The Sleep Revolution, she recalls cramming a day’s work into four hours – in the middle of the night. As you can imagine, this routine didn’t last too long. Flying across the US for interview after interview, Huffington writes,

“I have no idea why I said yes, but there is that level of tiredness where you don’t actually even notice you’re tired because you no longer remember how not being tired feels.”

Sound familiar? The importance of resting is not to be underestimated. Getting enough downtime will see your productivity increase significantly.

Doing everything yourself

While this is incredibly tempting, you cannot operate your business completely alone. Not for long anyway! When you’re finding your feet as an entrepreneur, wanting to do every task yourself – in your way – is a great way to stretch yourself too thin and cause yourself more work later down the line.

Employing staff that you trust to complete tasks on your behalf is the way around this over exertion. It’s hard to let go of certain aspects of your business, we know that, but a key attribute of a great boss is the ability to delegate. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself spread too thin across numerous tasks, unlikely to complete any of your ‘to do’ list to a high standard.

Using the wrong metrics

As we often mention, metrics are incredibly important. We’ve got a well-stocked KPI Library, as well as core KPI lists for different industries just waiting here to give you inspiration.

If you’re not measuring the right metrics for your business, you’ll find you won’t feel confident making decisions. You won’t know exactly what’s working and what isn’t, so the risk of expansion, investment, or anything financial becomes tenfold. With any business, you need to be aware of the areas that are operating well, and the ones that aren’t.

For example, if a machine isn’t working to its optimum, you could see a reduction in yield. If you’re not measuring this, you’ll be under-stocked and will lose revenue. Some metrics may be more applicable than others, so ensure you’re selecting the correct ones to measure.

Employing the wrong people

While we’re all for delegation, you need find the right people to delegate to. Asking family and friends is, of course, fine if you can’t afford staff just yet. But when you get bigger, you’ll need to invest in people that are going to help your business grow. If you employ people that you trust to accomplish tasks efficiently and correctly, there’s no need to micro-manage every aspect of your business. You’ll be confident in your team and will be able to take time for yourself, increasing productivity across the board.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States

A successful organisation is one that takes into account education and collaboration. This kind of environment contributes to improved performance, increased enthusiasm and engagement. To achieve this, have a good hard look at yourself and try to identify your weaknesses. Employing someone who will compliment you will give you the best chance of succeeding in your business venture.

Thinking you’re always right

Sadly, you are not. Recognising when you do get things wrong will make you more relatable to your staff, and admitting flaws can often draw in respect. Having a trustworthy deputy on-side will allow you to bounce ideas around between you, giving you a broader vision of what your business needs. It really can be eye-opening to get a second opinion, and (as discussed above) it’ll allow you to take more regular breaks as your business is in safe hands.

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