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7 Time Wasters to Avoid in the Workplace

Stas Kulesh
Stas Kulesh Follow
Apr 12, 2023 · 5 mins read
7 Time Wasters to Avoid in the Workplace
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We’ve all been there - the clock is ticking, the deadlines are looming, and you’re struggling to make any real progress on your work tasks. As frustrating as it may be, it’s all too common to feel like you’re stuck in a cycle of unproductivity. The truth is, there are a variety of time-wasting activities that can derail your workday and leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished very little. Here are some of the biggest culprits:

  1. Invisible Work:

This refers to tasks that require little mental effort, such as checking emails or paying attention to each notification in a work chat. While these tasks may feel productive at the moment, they don’t contribute much to your overall goals and can quickly eat up valuable time.

Try this:

  • Time blocking: Allocate specific time periods for deep work, where you focus solely on high-priority tasks without any distractions. Set aside separate blocks of time for shallow work tasks like email checking, social media browsing, and other routine tasks.
  • Minimize notifications: Turn off notifications on your phone or computer for apps that are not necessary during your deep work sessions. Consider using tools like website blockers or apps that allow you to schedule when certain apps are allowed to be used.
  1. Social Media apps

It’s no secret that social media can be a huge distraction, but it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of scrolling through feeds and checking notifications. This can not only eat up precious work time but also affect your ability to concentrate when you do get back to work.

Try this:

  • Use productivity apps: Consider using productivity apps that can help you stay focused and avoid social media distractions during work hours. There are many apps available that can block social media notifications or track your social media usage to help you reduce your screen time.
  1. Unnecessary meetings

While meetings can be important for communication and collaboration, they can also be a major time sink. Too many meetings or meetings that are overly long or unnecessary can quickly eat up hours of your day.

Try this:

  • Prioritize relevant meetings: Prioritize meetings based on their importance and relevance to your work. Only attend meetings that are necessary for your work or that you can contribute to meaningfully.
  1. Perfectionism

While striving for excellence is admirable, being a perfectionist can quickly become a time-wasting habit. Spending too much time obsessing over minor details or trying to make everything perfect can lead to decreased productivity and increased stress.

Try this:

  • Set realistic goals: Set realistic goals for yourself and avoid setting unrealistic expectations. It’s important to recognize that perfection is often unattainable and can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety.

  • Seek feedback: Seek feedback from colleagues or supervisors to help you gain perspective on your work. This can help you identify areas for improvement and avoid spending too much time on unnecessary details.

  1. Multi-tasking doesn’t really work

While it may seem like multitasking is an efficient way to get more done, research has shown that it hinders productivity. Jumping between tasks can lead to decreased focus and decreased quality of work.

Try this:

  • Prioritize tasks: Prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. Focus on one task at a time, and avoid jumping between tasks unless absolutely necessary.

  • Practice single-tasking: Practice single-tasking by dedicating your full attention to one task at a time. This can help you stay focused and improve the quality of your work.

  1. Delaying bigger tasks

It’s natural to want to put off tasks that are difficult or unpleasant, but this can quickly become a time-wasting habit. Procrastination can lead to increased stress and decreased productivity.

Try this:

  • Break tasks down into smaller steps: Break larger tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help you feel less overwhelmed and make it easier to get started.

  • Set deadlines: Set specific deadlines for each task, and hold yourself accountable for meeting them. This can help you stay on track and avoid putting tasks off until the last minute.

  1. Missing automation process

If you find yourself doing repetitive tasks or manually inputting data, it may be time to explore automation options. Not only can this save time, but it can also reduce errors and free up mental energy for more important tasks.

Try this:

  • Identify repetitive tasks: Identify tasks that are repetitive or involve manual data entry. These are good candidates for automation.

  • Research automation options: Research automation options, such as software tools or scripts, that can help streamline your work processes. There may be existing solutions that can save you time and effort.

  • Consult with IT: Consult with your IT department to determine what automation options are available to you. They may have recommendations for tools or software that can help you automate tasks.

By being aware of these common time-wasters, you can take steps to mitigate their impact on your workday. Whether it’s setting boundaries around socializing, delegating tasks, or exploring automation options, there are plenty of ways to increase productivity and make the most of your time at work.

Looking to avoid common time wasters in the workplace? Time bot for Slack offers seamless and non-intrusive time-tracking that boosts productivity and increases transparency. With Time bot, you can easily identify and eliminate time-wasting habits, such as multitasking, manual work, or unnecessary meetings, and improve your overall work efficiency. So why waste any more time?

Try Time bot today and take the first step towards a more productive and successful workday.

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Stas Kulesh
Stas Kulesh
Written by Stas Kulesh
Time founder. I blog, play fretless guitar, watch Peep Show and run a digital design/dev shop in Auckland, New Zealand. Parenting too.