Dangers of wasting time in your business and what you can do about it

Swim schools are a minefield of distractions. Without structure, employees can be sucked into activities that don’t support business or your customers. Time wasters can involve anything from social media to juggling too much work. Inefficient processes, poor communication and meetings with no agenda are also common culprits.

Any business owner knows time is money. Whether staff are working from home or in the office, interruptions turn into sneaky time thieves if they’re not managed.

One of the effects the pandemic has had on the working world reflects in the acceleration of workplace productivity. As more employees work remotely, it emphasises the extra distractions working in the office has.

Learn how to avoid these biggest time wasters in your swim school business.

Admin work

Working doesn’t always equate to productivity.

Repetitive admin is a big distraction in swim schools. Paperwork, emails, reporting and invoicing are some tasks you could delegate elsewhere. While it feels like work attending to admin, they’re time wasters if they can be streamlined for efficiency or given to another employee for better use of your time.

How to fix it:

Swim schools pride themselves on customer service. Thankfully, manual admin is one of the easiest distractions to eliminate - or at the very least minimise.

  • Reduce admin work and keep staff where they’re most needed to help build your customer relationships
  • Invest in a good CRM tool to reduce data-related tasks
  • Automate student reports and class schedules
  • Set up automatic payments online
  • Know how and when to delegate responsibilities
  • Reduce staff reception hours with customer self check-in
  • Streamline tedious tasks such as payroll and accounting

Poor communication

Communication breakdowns impact businesses in a multitude of ways.

It causes costly mistakes, program delays and a cascade of overdue tasks guaranteed to waste time. Poor communication also impacts customer service. If you don’t prioritise customer communication, you’ll waste effort and money through frustration and dissatisfaction.

How to fix it:

Good communication is a continuous effort. You should regularly evaluate your team’s communication process, as well as maintain quality connections with customers.

Limit communication chaos by delivering tools that unify information flow and give employees access to real-time updates. Try and find one system to streamline processes. Continuous switching between tools can consume time and productivity.

  • Listen to staff and customers and act on feedback
  • Talk to your customers like real people through professional, friendly conversation
  • Use email analytics to review your school’s usage and create an action plan for how to improve it
  • Set clear meeting agendas and minimise casual group catch-ups with no goals
  • Review and update processes to fix communication and time management issues
  • Use tools like Grammarly to help communicate clearly

Micromanaging staff

If staff need to be watched or walked through their job, they’re probably not the right fit.

However, if supervisors aren’t focused on the bigger picture, micromanaging can become a problem. It’s a control technique that fractures working relationships and hinders business growth.

How to fix it:

While there are some pros to micromanaging, like getting staff up to speed and passing on accurate knowledge, it can also damage team trust and increase staff turnover rate.

  • Focus on the big picture over minor details
  • Only request ongoing updates if necessary
  • Reduce time spent overseeing others
  • Hire the right people
  • Give ongoing feedback
  • Help staff develop their strengths, rather than criticising what they’re doing wrong
  • Don’t spend too much time on decisions others can handle
  • Listen to your team’s feedback
  • Create actionable objectives and define measurable results for each
  • Document without micromanaging
  • Prioritise staff development
  • Streamline processes

Multitasking and overcommitting

Multitasking may sound impressive but it leads to slower, less efficient work. Often, people think they’re working better when they’re handling various tasks at once. But it’s rare to find someone who can do two things simultaneously well. Fast-toggling between tasks ultimately ends up wasting time.

Overcommitting is just as damaging.

It results in overwhelmed staff, bad management decisions and an unhealthy work-life balance. If team members are juggling too much, businesses also face the challenge of high employee retention, which is a costly process.

How to fix it:

  • Conduct a time audit by reviewing swim school goals, how staff are spending their time and areas you can adjust to meet targets
  • Focus on one task at hand
  • Be realistic about available time
  • Break activities into smaller chunks
  • Avoid trying to do more with less to reduce costs
  • Manage and streamline team members’ time so staff aren’t doing the job of 2-3 people or skills aren’t being wasted

Skimping on technology

The right use of technology makes for a productive swim school.

Whether it’s smart devices, booking software or automating manual tasks, taking advantage of technology is crucial for business success.

How to fix it:

More swim schools are embracing technology by using iPods and tablets with waterproof covers in the pool. Going digital over paper assessments and attendance saves time and prevents staff from needing to re-enter information.

  • Invest in a functional platform with iPod compatibility
  • Use technology to manage classes, attendance and assessments, and track student skills
  • Keep up-to-date with new industry trends that could benefit your swim school
  • Make sure you have good WiFi coverage

The dangers of distraction aren’t only found in water safety and child supervision. Wasting time is a costly problem for swim schools that impacts customers, productivity and staff retention.

At Udio, we’ve developed software for simplifying everyday tasks. Learn how we found a solution to swim schools' biggest time wasters. Find out more.

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