Are you prone to wasting time at work?


Maximising your time at work can mean the difference between leaving at a reasonable hour and staying unnecessarily late, or in other words, maintaining a life outside of work. There are countless ways you can waste time on the job. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable but other times, time wasting can be managed and it all starts with identifying which time wasters you are prone to.


Here are 6 common time wasters and some tips on how to defeat them.


1. Emails


Email has become the number one form of communication within the workplace, as it’s convenient and a great way to keep a record of correspondences. But, we now receive a large number and a lot of time can be spent shifting through constant emails.


Solution: If a matter is complicated or could take time going back and forth, it is important to be able to identify when it is best to just get up and talk to the co-worker in person or even pick up the phone. It’s also worth remembering that if the matter is sensitive and it’s hard to distinguish the meaning behind some words, a conversation can be more time effective as well as being able to divert potential conflicts. If a written record is required, you can then write up an email or briefing note with all key points summarised and then sent to all parties.


2. Meetings


Meetings can be an essential part of any workplace. It’s only when meetings are run poorly, that they become a real waste of time.


Solution: We all need to be conscious of time and making sure we achieve the key objectives of each meeting as quickly and efficiently as possible. Every participant should be aware of the meeting’s key purpose, the tangible goals to be accomplished and keep everyone focused on the tasks at hand.


3. Clutter


If your workplace is disorganised or messy, you could waste a lot of time looking for items. Being in a state of disorganisation can make it possible to miss an important deadline or overlook something imperative.


Solution: De-clutter as much as you can and keep filing up to date. It does seem simple, but clearing your work space, can allow you to work more efficiently.


4. Social media or surfing the net


Social media and the internet is a major part of our lives and we can always be tempted to check Facebook or Instagram to see what the outside world is up to. But scrolling through your newsfeed or checking restaurant reviews can make the afternoon just disappear.


Solution: Use your lunch break to check your social media or non-work-related sites so you don’t have to feel guilty.


5. Coffee Breaks


If you are going out for a coffee run a couple of times a day and you’re out for at least half an hour each time, you affect the day’s work flow and potentially your productivity.


Solution: There is no question, that having breaks from your computer screen and from sitting down constantly is vital. Also, socialising with team mates can increase morale, but you do need to be conscious of how long you take breaks and how it is affecting your work groove. Try to limit the number of breaks you take to go outside for coffees. A quick walk around the office can sometimes be more of a benefit than going to sit and have a coffee somewhere.


6. Lack of Motivation


At times, even the most challenging job can become mundane and repetitive, resulting in decreased motivation or enthusiasm to get tasks done.


Solution: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail and that is true even for your daily tasks. So, set goals and complete to do lists so you know what you are going to achieve and why. It’s surprising how this can help increase productivity.


At some point in your working life, you’ve probably been guilty of some of these time wasters. But if you want more of a work life balance, it’s important to stay as productive as possible for the majority of time and make the most of the hours you have at work.

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