5 Time Wasters Sucking the Life Out of Your Day

Automate, save time, fill it with more business. While many businesses are looking for the easiest ways to save time, there are some activities we are all guilty of that can suck time out of our days. Here’s 5 time wasters I have encountered during my short SEO life and a few remedies:

1. Continually checking rankings: This applies to the SEO company and the client. Rankings can change multiple times per day. How a keyword ranks in the afternoon might be different from the morning, or if the search is personalized. Rankings can change because Google says so. I am only immediately concerned about rankings when ALL keywords have fallen off the map. Unless that happens, most times they fall back into the balances.

From a client’s standpoint, some might be concerned (or totally freak out) if a keyword falls from #8-#10. Conveying in the beginning of an SEO campaign that movements will occur and taking immediate action is not the right solution will save an SEO company hours of calls and emails. The main point is to focus on conversions. Employees are not paid with rankings, so lets all concentrate on what keeps us in business.

2. Especially Needy Clients: I have a cat named Sandwich. She is a polite cat, but constantly needs attention. Whether I’m sleeping, watching ESPN, checking email, or trying to shut the door to go out running, Sandwich is there and wants to be pet. While trust is a factor, a client that calls 5 times a day over rankings or just to see what progress is being made is not worth their weight in gold. Save your time and filter out working with clients like Sandwich.

3. Google Reader: This is a great way to quickly review numerous updates in one place. I started out adding a dozen SEO blogs, then I added my clients blogs, then blogs related to my clients, then added a few feeds from search.twitter, then added a Craigslist RSS feed for real estate in my neighborhood, then decided to add the feed for sport results from my alma mater, then have news coming in about Aerosmith tour dates and possible Zeppelin reunion tour news, and then…..

Things can quickly get out of hand in Google Reader. Maybe it’s time to clean house and get rid of a lot of personal news and old client feeds that are still flowing in.

4. Doing something is always better than nothing. Whether working out, fighting global warming (is your SEO agency prepared for global warming?), or linking, doing something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

The best ideas, linkbait, heck, office cubicle design are just plans until some action is taken. Getting five directory links is 100% more effective than coming up with a great linkbait that will never fly with your client. Creating a plan to go after links is a 100% waste of time if it is never implemented. Save your time and spend time on tasks that will provide something in the end.

5. Meetings: Like #4, having a meeting is completely unproductive unless an agenda is followed, questions are answered, and future steps are outlined. Meetings usually involve a minimum of 3-4 people, if not upwards of a dozen. How much is each persons time worth that is attending the meeting. Should they be there? Can three people make the meeting and recap it for the rest of the office? Time and resources are limited. Schedule meetings with the right amount of people and go in knowing what will be discussed.

Have any other obvious time drains?