Even though this blog is all about diversifying your income streams and I now work for myself, I do think that diversifying your income can include working for someone else.
According to Salary.com, 69% of respondents to a survey they took stated they waste time at work every single day. Around 62% of survey takers reported that they waste around 30 minutes to 1 hour daily, 22% reported that they waste around 2 to 3 hours daily, and 4% reported that they waste 4 HOURS or more each day.
That is a ton of time wasted!
Wasting time at work is something I don’t think should be done. Sure, breaks every now and then just happen, but wasting a few hours every single day definitely seems excessive when you are being paid to work.
You probably are not getting all of your work done, your boss probably knows that you are wasting time and does not see you as a valuable employee, and more. Also, you might even be annoying your coworkers if they have to pull your weight when it comes to tasks that need to be completed.
Here are my tips to be more productive at work so that you are a more productive worker:
1. Turn off your cell phone.
When at work, you probably do not need your personal cell phone. It might be best just to put it away or turn it off so that you can get more work done. Just having it right on your desk may cause you to waste more time and be less productive at work.
2. Don’t bother with social media.
Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot get onto social media without wasting a lot of time.
Spending just a “few minutes” on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest is just not realistic for me. So, instead I just try to avoid it altogether and save it for a designated time, after the work I need to do is completed.
A lot of wasted time at work is spent on social media. You should try stepping away from it. Maybe even put a block on it on your work computer.
3. Figure out why you waste so much time at work.
Many people who took the survey mentioned above claimed they wasted time because they are bored or because they do not like the work they do.
If either of those are your reasons, then you need to find a solution so that you can get more work done. I’m assuming that it probably wouldn’t be good if you lost your job, so figuring out a solution is important.
4. Think about the “small” breaks you are taking.
Many people take small, five to ten minute, breaks throughout the day. Is that really needed though? Are these breaks actually small? Do they help or no?
I used to work with someone who would constantly take smoke breaks. I’m talking one or two every hour, at the very least. Over a full work day, that amount of time adds up very quickly. If you need to smoke that much while you are working then you need to figure out why because you are killing your body!
5. Avoid workplace gossip.
So much time is wasted because of gossiping. Does that really help anyone? Sure, some social interaction is important each day, and your work environment most likely allows for that. However, if you are just chatting with your coworkers all day long and not actually working at all, then this can be a big time waster.
How much time do you waste at work each day? Come on, let’s be honest here!
I check social media far too many times throughout the day. It’s become too easy with it being accessible on our phones. Other than that I find myself very productive in the office, if only I could transfer that productivity to my side projects that I work on at home.
Yes, I check social media too much as well. Usually I just blame it on the work I do since I do need to be on it, but I am on it far too much.
Interestingly, I don’t think it’s just about individuals choosing to waste time, I think the office environment contributes to the problem greatly. Open plan offices are noisy and distracting so it’s no wonder people aren’t as productive as they could be.
Whoever thought an open plan office was a brilliant idea for creating a productive environment had great big rocks in their head!
Maybe I’m just old fashioned but I miss cubicles – reduced noise and no visual distractions.
Yeah, I don’t think I could do an open floor plan. I would be too curious about everything going on around me!
I do waste too much time at work. I spend too much time on the internet, but I also get distracted by my coworkers very easily. Our office suite is set up with several private offices down a hall with open work spaces on the other side of the hall. I have a desk in one of the open work spaces and I’m constantly distracted when someone else is on the phone or is walking down the hall. Not only that, but the printer and shredder four other people use is in my space as well.
But the point of your post is well taken; I need to be more disciplined with the things I can handle, like my time spent on the internet unrelated to work.
Wow sounds like you have many distractions around you! I would find that hard to work in.
Thanks for your tips to be more productive at work but mostly I spend more time on social media.I will try stepping away from it mostly when am at work.
I was expecting one of your pieces of productivity advice to be “Take Small Breaks”. I swear by the Pomodoro Technique which is a series of 25 minutes work times then 5 minutes break time. After four of these (two hours) you can take a longer break as needed.
I actually find breaking up a task to be helpful. Sometimes I find I’ve been working on a problem for hours and gotten nowhere. Forcing yourself to take a step back, get a cup of tea, think about the problem from a different angle, can really help!
Yes, sometimes a break is definitely needed! However, I think some people waste too much time at work and breaks are just an excuse.
I think doing what you don’t like cab be the mother of all tome wasting activities. For example if you don’t doing market research on the internet, then you end up having some breaks every 5 minutes to check you Facebook wall. That’s a lot of time wasted.
I have found that I waste time when there is something I don’t want to do. For the most part, I can get the majority of my work done each day and have time to spare. But, if I need to focus I turn off the phone and email and push through. It’s in those times that I realize what I am really capable of!
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I would agree that many people waste too much time at work. I am a fan of the Pomodoro method personally and find that taking a 5 minute break after a focused 25 minute stint is hugely helpful. I get more done take more breaks believe it or not and I use them to fit exercise into my day. Win, win!