The Insidious Danger of ‘Displacement Activities’

Steve Toburen

In today’s fast-paced business world, many entrepreneurs struggle to balance non-essential activities with their core business tasks.

These “displacement activities” can be sneaky and, if not properly addressed, could negatively impact the success of a business.

That’s the topic featured on my Take 5 With Cleanfax program with guest Steve Toburen, the director of training of Jon-Don’s Strategies for Success and founder of the digital training company Home Front Success. Toburen sees this issue as a real, dangerous threat to business growth. In the episode, we analyzed how entrepreneurs can adjust their thinking to prioritize essential tasks and achieve their business goals.

Toburen defines displacement activities as those tasks that keep entrepreneurs busy but are not aligned with the core objectives of the business. Instead of focusing on what truly matters, individuals indulge in activities they enjoy or feel comfortable doing.

Examples of displacement activities

Common displacement activities in the cleaning and restoration industry include working onsite or staying on the truck too long. While it’s essential to be a hands-on owner, it’s equally important to assess whether such tasks are the highest and best use of the owner’s skills and time.

Another example of a displacement activity is attempting tasks beyond one’s skill set, such as  attempting to build a website without the necessary skills and knowledge.

A good example of a crucial but often neglected activity is employee recruitment. I mean, who wants to do that? It’s frustrating. But a robust and skilled workforce is crucial for the growth and stability of any business.

Adjust your mindset

To overcome displacement activities, entrepreneurs must shift their mindset on what truly matters. Toburen suggests determining what tasks can be delegated to others. Allow your talented employees to do what they do best, so you can do the same. What can’t be delegated can be outsourced to professionals who specialize in tasks that take up your valuable time, such as website development, marketing, and accounting.

It was a great discussion; watch it in full below.

You can also listen to the full conversation via our Cleanfax Podcast here:

For more video content by Cleanfax, check out the  Cleanfax Video page and start learning invaluable cleaning and restoration tips today.

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Jeff Cross

Jeff Cross is the ISSA media director, with publications that include Cleaning & Maintenance Management, ISSA Today, and Cleanfax magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and front-line technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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