7 things killing your business

We all love lists. Short, sharp and to the point. Here is a list of 7 things that are probably strangling your business by burning valuable time and even more valuable brain-power.


The biggest killer, interrupting your team, your bosses and your partners. Wastes at least 1 hour per day, that is 20% of the daily productive allowance for most of us. Fix: adopt InboxZero, use apps such as MailBox, ban email for one day a week and move all collaborative and shared communication to a task-based platform such as Podio or Basecamp.


The average daily commute in London is 75 minutes. That’s 5 weeks sitting in traffic or on trains. It’s more time than the average worker takes as holiday every day. Fix: Adopt flexi-time to avoid rush-hours, home-working 80% of the time, close some offices, open other offices at weekends or go location-independent.


Most folks know that meetings are highly toxic, yet we continue to fill our diaries in the belief that we are doing work. A 1hr meeting with 5 people costs one day of productivity and very little is usually achieved, almost nothing written down and few actions completed . Fix: Cancel meetings, don’t postpone them, just cancel them and see if the world comes to an end. Do stuff online in a collaboration space.


The old style of project control (waterfall) generates long lead times, poor delivery and slipping dates with overspend. The average cost overun for an IT budget is nearly 50% with almost 75% of projects over budget. Fix: adopt an agile approach with a delivery early and often mentality.

Legacy applications

Still using Outlook 2003? Or maybe some other IT Prescribed application? Does it do what you want it to? Probably not. The world is awash with £1 applications for your tablet that are probably better suited to your need. Fix: Bring Your Own Computing (not just device), stop using whatever the office provides, become an advocate for amazing new stuff.


The spawn of the devil, spreadsheets might have been the killer app in the 1980s but today they are mostly productivity killers. Too complex, too rich and being used by unskilled folks they are a nightmare that more often than not misleads the business with bad data and poor analysis. Fix: stop using them, very few problems now have a spreadsheet as a solution. Cloud-based services exist for most of the simple solutions you use a spreadsheet for.


In a productionised world the timesheet is king. We don’t live in a productionised world any longer so we don’t need them. Fix: stop recording time, move to value-based delivery/pricing, measure output and not hours, reward delivery not clocking-in and out.