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The Top 10 Worst Time Wasters That Kill Our Productivity at Work

November 22, 2017

Humans are creatures of habit, and it's these habits which define how effective (or ineffective) we are in our day to day lives. Some of the habits have the ability to kill our productivity, while others can help enhance productivity. In this article, we are going to discuss the top 10 worst time wasting activities that kill our productivity at work;

1. Multitasking

Of all the habits, multitasking is the most common and probably the worst. Recent studies have shown that multitasking, which was once considered to be the best way to get things done, is actually counterproductive. When you multitask, you are not actually doing multiple tasks at a go, instead, you are temporarily giving partial attention to each task. As such, most of your energy will be devoted to the act of switching tasks, and not completing them. Moreover, switching from one task to another will increase the amount of time it'll take to complete each task, and also increase the number of errors.

2. Constantly Checking Your Email

Email is another time waster which can have a very negative impact on your productivity at work. When you keep on checking your emails, you waste a lot of time which you'd have otherwise used to complete the task at hand. So, unless you're genuinely waiting for a very important email, you should avoid constantly checking your email. Consider scheduling particular times to check your email, like in the morning, after lunch, in the afternoon, or when commuting. The same holds true for your voicemails and phone messages.

3. Social Media

Social media is very useful if you wish to network, keep up with the current trends and connect with old friends. However, if you do not have a purpose and you simply want to gossip, then social media will be a huge time waster. If you constantly have the social media sites open on your computer or phone, you're allowing yourself to be distracted, and you are bound to lose focus on your work. If you have to look at the social media accounts, consider doing it during lunch break, coffee break, or when commuting.

4. Having a Long-To-Do-List

It is easy for some people to get caught up in the idea of accomplishing a ton of work, in a short period of time. Do not be overzealous and fill your to do list with tons of tasks. You'll not be able complete all of them in time, and you'll end up getting overwhelmed and depressed. To do avoid this, keep your to do list between 1 to 5 tasks; this will ensure you don't get overwhelmed, and will also help ensure you complete your to do list in time.

5. Saying 'yes’ To Everything

The inability to say 'no' may be very costly if you are not careful. Always saying 'yes' to everything, like coworkers asking for favors, will eat up your time, attention and energy; of which are limited resources which should be allocated towards the most important tasks to you. You should try to set boundaries, and also learn how to decline offers that are not related to your particular objectives.

6. Being Indecisive

When you are indecisive, you tend to sift through all of the information you have, and mentally rehearse all the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. This ends up eating a lot of energy and willpower in the process, which in turn derails your work session.

7. Being Super-Connected

If you can be easily reached via Twitter, Whatsapp, Email, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook, you are too available and these outlets are all possible connections which can easily distract you from your main purpose. Try and disconnect and see just how much your productivity improves.

8. Working Without a Routine

Even if you are clear on exactly what you want to accomplish, if you do not have a concrete plan of action, then you could be wasting a lot of valuable time and energy on things that do not really move the needle. A work routine is very important and will help get your mind into a productive gear.

9. Not Automating Recurring Tasks

Many of the tasks we normally do on a day to day basis are repeat tasks. Many of these recurring tasks can actually be automated in one way or another. For instance, if you send the same type of emails every other day, you can make up templates so that all you need to do is fill in the blanks.

10. Unnecessary or Unscheduled Meetings

Meetings which have no specific agenda, no clear takeaway and no time frame, are a sure recipe for disaster. Such meetings will not only waste your time, but will also prevent others from getting things done.


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