Time Management

“What’s stealing my time”? 5 office time wasters to watch out for


Have you ever watched the clock and think “Where the hell did my time go?”, and then got hit by the realization that you haven’t achieved anything in your day?

The good news is: it’s probably not entirely your fault.

Taking care of your time

Keeping track of the time spent on a project is not easy. Sure, you could probably make an estimate: “Today I worked on Project Indigo ALL DAY.” But what about when you stopped to get to a meeting? And that long call that got delayed because Skype froze? And that client who sent you 6 emails before you even stepped into the office?

To know for sure, it’s essential to track where your time goes. You can do it in several ways, from the good ol’ Excel spreadsheet to less clunky solutions, like time tracking tools:

timeneye dashboard
The Timeneye Dashboard is an example of how to keep track of where you spend your time

You’d be surprised what you could discover by tracking your time. It’s hard to optimize your time if you don’t know where you spend it!

“So, where did my time go?”

So we dug a little in the current research about time management at work and we’ve drawn a little “Top 5” of the worst productivity-disrupting activities: whatever is stealing your time, is likely to be on this list.

1) Emails, emails, emails…

Emails still continue to be one of the worst productivity black holes. It is estimated that up to 30% of employee time goes away to excessive emails, internal email overuse, or obsessively answering after one second they reached the inbox.

2) Constant interruptions

Phones ringing, notifications popping up, people entering your office, and of course, the above-mentioned emails…. the list of office interruptions is endless. It’s not easy to find a moment of quiet while working, and yet it’s crucial: it takes our brain up to 25 minutes to re-focus after it’s been distracted.

3) An agenda full of meetings

Meetings to organize, meetings to decide, meeting to set up more meetings… Almost half of the employees consider them lost time. Make sure your meetings are brief, concise and on point.

4) Mr. Facebook and his friends

Ok, this one is actually your fault. Don’t get me wrong: I love social media, I think they’re an awesome tool to stay connected with brands and friends. But impulsive social browsing is a big no-no when you have work to do. No wonder Facebook is one of the top blocked sites in companies!

5) Multitasking

We will never stop saying it: tons of research has shown that multitasking kills productivity. Your IQ actually lowers when you try to do more things at a time!

(Dis) Honorable Mention: Perfectionism

Fact: there’s a 99% chance that the first draft of anything will be sh*tty. That is totally normal. Perfection doesn’t exist, in work as well as in everyday life. So let go of your inner perfectionist, or you’ll end up always editing and never delivering anything.

So, did we guess right? Are any of these guilty of stealing your time? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!

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