Workplace time wasters and how to prevent them

June 16, 2022

It can be easy to get off track during the workday, so it is important to identify time wasters so you and your team can be as productive and efficient as possible.

Forbes.com identifies seven time-wasting tasks and how you can avoid them.

  1. Unnecessary meetings. Although meetings can be useful, not all meetings are productive—and those meetings can waste precious time and cause your team to lose focus and become unproductive. Instead, you can take steps to structure meetings ahead of time and have discussion points; only have meetings when necessary; set time limits for meetings; schedule shorter meetings; and stay focused on the meeting topic.
  2. Multitasking. Although it may seem as if multitasking saves you time, it can be a time waster because few people can multitask effectively. Multitasking can lead to mistakes, lower work quality and burnout. You will get more done if you concentrate on one task before moving on to another.
  3. Micromanaging employees. You probably want things done a certain way at your business, but you hired your team so you could delegate certain tasks to get things done. Rather than wasting time by constantly monitoring employees, set clear expectations and goals; provide feedback; communicate openly; and develop employee ownership.
  4. Disorganization. Being disorganized can be a significant time waster, causing stress and frustration. To make your workplace more efficient, consider setting up an organizational system (such as folders or digital storage); decluttering workstations; and keeping a schedule and checklist.
  5. Irrelevant emails. It can be easy to get lost in emails during the day; business leaders reportedly waste 3.4 hours each week reading through emails that do not add value to their business, translating to about 177 wasted hours per year. You could instead opt for a phone call, video call or face-to-face conversation; avoid checking emails first thing in the morning; and only check emails a few times a day at specific intervals.
  6. Lack of delegation. If you are spending too much time on small tasks that pull you away from your business, learn how to let go and delegate tasks to your team.
  7. Online distractions. When a computer is used for a significant portion of work, it can be easy to get distracted by social media or Google searches, and that adds up to time wasted. You and your team can track your work time to ensure you are limiting distractions and setting aside time to take proper breaks.

Tags: Business

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