Five Workplace Time-Wasters and How to Prevent Them

“We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves.” – George Matthew Adams

Time seems to move slower when you’re bored at work. If only the weekend could seem this long! Other times, usually inconvenient ones, you can never find enough time to finish projects.

It’s normal to have busier and slower times in your workload, but wasting time at the office will always make you feel swamped. We’ve identified five common time-wasters and their solutions, to help you free your time and focus.

Clickbait. There’s a reason that eye-catching content headlines got their name, as they quite literally “bait” viewers to click on their link. Their trick? One article doesn’t seem like it will take a long time to read, but they keep “baiting” you to read one after another – before you know it, you’ve wasted several hours! We recommend the Instapaper app, which allows you to save articles to read for later, to prevent you from getting sucked into the internet.

Disorganization. Tidying up is like an investment, but instead of investing money, you’re investing time. A few minutes spent organizing your workspace each day can mean hours saved when you’re in need of an important document. Yes, it’s boring, but frantically searching for things is even more menial, so do your future self a favor and stay organized.

Multitasking. You may feel like you are saving time by working on several tasks at once, but multitasking can actually make you less effective and efficient because, as you switch your focus back and forth, your brain is struggling to keep up. Stay present and keep your attention on one task at a time in order to maximize productivity.

Email. Many of us have our email inboxes open during the entire workday, as if we are waiting with baited breath for the next notification. This common time-waster goes along with multitasking because you are preventing yourself from focusing well. Block out time slots to check your email during the day, such as 30 minute in the morning and afternoon.

Meetings. To no one’s surprise, meetings make the cut as one of the worst workplace time-wasters. They drag on and on, often with no purpose, and leave everyone exhausted by the time that they finally do end – not ideal for an organization that wants to be a game-changer. Keep them short and sweet by having an outline of goals and a time limit.