5 Ways You Unintentionally Waste Time

Don’t try to tell me you’re one of the 11 percenters in this country who DON’T waste time at work. I doubt I’d believe you. If you just did the math in your head, you’ll note that that means over 89 percent of all workers in North America admit they waste at least some of their workday doing non-revenue-generating activities:

  • 31% waste roughly 30 minutes daily
  • 31% waste roughly 1 hour daily
  • 16% waste roughly 2 hours daily
  • 6% waste roughly 3 hours daily
  • 2% waste roughly 4 hours daily
  • 2% waste 5 or more hours daily

(Original Source)

If you’re in management, best to be looking out for that bottom 10 percent — at the very least!

I’ve tried to rationalize that I use all my time wisely. After all, I don’t punch a clock. If I don’t get down to it, I don’t get paid, pure and simple. No dodgy coverups or hiding out in the janitor’s closet for me. Yet I still get sucked up into the IoT. In particular, those bleeping clickbait ads that come up all over the net: “Kylie Carrying Kanye’s Lovechild” and “Celebs That Used to be Pretty But Aren’t Anymore” and “Why Brendan Fraser Can’t Get Work Anymore.” I’d get sucked up into this junk for hours if I didn’t catch myself.

Distracted and procrastinating entrepreneurs basking in sales success

Time wasters can be sneaky. They hurt your career/entrepreneurial aspirations and gouge employer’s pockets. They’re like tiny little termites; cutting out the foundation of your life, little by little as time goes on. Then one day, the roof comes down and there’s no way to recover but to completely rebuild.

Here’s 5 sneaky time wasters that you need to pinch in the bud before they rob you of your promise:

1. Harmful Daily Habits.

Swinging by the water cooler for some fresh H20 isn’t a bad thing at all — until Brian from accounting sucks you into a conversation about what management’s going to do about vacation schedules this summer! Same with sitting on the toilet with a newspaper or your tablet (yeah, that might sound gross but the majority do it). Why plan for something to take you so long that you need entertainment while doing so? All sorts of rituals are bad for us, and pretty much every single one of them that occurs during work hours leads you away from your work and into the realm of wasting time you and your company or employer can never get back.

2. Distractions Kill Time — Literally!

You’ve already heard about mine. I have an excuse though: most of my work involves researching via hundreds of websites a week. What’s yours? Perhaps a pretty girl or handsome male coworker completely disrupts your focus while you’re hammering out some data entry?

Maybe you remember suddenly that you want to order a new pair of shoes from your favorite online retailer while you’re editing some juicy late-breaking content for the company’s Facebook page so you can be the first to get it out? Then decide ordering the shoes (which will still be there at break time) is more important — then you get sucked up into reading reviews and comparing prices for the next hour?

All you have to do is catch yourself before indulging in distractions. That’s all the advice you need.

3. Pointless Communication.

You know what I’m talking about. The needless back and forth of streams of emails to discuss a project. I’m terrible for this, just ask Noobpreneur owner, Ivan. I can write a small novel to discuss the simplest of projects we’re working on together.

Picking up the phone to ask someone something because you’re bored. Does this sound like you?

Maybe you’re the type who loves to keep dragging out a simple talk about a project or idea because you love the sound of your own voice? Or allow such types to block your path and stop you from getting to your own work.

Protip: Streamlined conversation is one of the keys to time management and overall success in business.

4. Plain Old Stubbornness.

Plenty of time gets wasted all over the world because we refuse to accept time-saving advice and/or can’t adapt our “old ways” to new ways of thinking or by using technology. I won’t delve too much into examples of stubbornness. If your way is the only way, or you’re so afraid of change that you’re wasting hours doing stuff you don’t have to — or could streamline significantly — it’s killing your dreams and ambitions.

time waster
Image Credit: Corey/Flickr

5. Poor prioritization skills.

So none of the above applies to you, hunh? Maybe you just don’t know how to organize your time, to get everything done in the right order and maximize every second spent on individual projects? This is a big time sink that afflicts even the most well organized. After all, with the challenges each day brings, sometimes you can have the best of intentions, yet things get in the way after you’ve meticulously planned out each step to the “T”.

While some people just don’t know where to start, sometimes it’s just a matter of realizing when you’re most likely to be interrupted and not scheduling things that require your utmost attention during those times. Still other times, you need to completely reevaluate what’s important when it feels like everything on the list needs to be done yesterday!

Time is the one thing you can never get back folks. Rather than catching up at home and ruining your personal time, it’s far better to work at professional improvement to kill those sneaky little time wasting demons that are killing your productivity each and every day, often without your knowledge.