There is many a factor that steals time away from work and cuts into your productivity. Some of them are disguised as methods to help you relax, to wind down from the stresses of the workplace. Let’s look at the two most common Time Wasters:
Personal Email and Chain Mails
You promise yourself that you will only log in for 10 minutes, you just need to see if your mom sent you anything last night, or whether your beneficiary payments were successful. Before you know it, you’re reading newsletter upon newsletter and sending a picture of your sister’s new dog’s winter jersey to everybody on your contact list.
The solution: Simply don’t log into your personal accounts. If you really have to check on something important, rather use the internet browser on your phone, or wait until your lunch break.
Beware, the danger doesn’t lie solely with personal email accounts (or other personal accounts like internet banking or that profile you created to collect all those delicious recipes.) If you’re not careful, work email could be just as dangerous. We all know that colleague. The one who sends mail after mail urging you to forward the story to 20 users and AOL will donate 20c for every mail recipient who reads it. Unfortunately, you cannot mark all her mail as spam, in the odd chance that she might send you something important and work-related.
The solution: Create a folder and re-direct all their mail to it. Remember to check the folder once or twice a day. That way, it doesn’t clutter up your Inbox, and you still get to view the important stuff when you need to.
The Gossip Click/Social Circle
This could very well be the equivalent of the water cooler gossipers in the 80’s and 90’s. With open offices being the way of the future, it is exceedingly harder to distance yourself from the gossiping crowd. There will always be the one colleague with the juiciest information about everybody in the office, and the need to spread said juicy information.
The solution: Make it clear that you are not interested. The moment he/she starts with “have you heard about Sarah’s new…” quickly but firmly interrupt with a “No, thank you, I’m really not interested.” Alternatively, you could go with the harsher route: Indulge in the gossip, listen what the gossiping queen has to say about Sarah, then calmly call Sarah in and ask her if it’s true. Ms. Gossip will most likely never share her juicy tales with you again…
If you work in an open office environment, you probably have to deal with a lot of background noise. Not necessarily the harmful gossip from the previous scenario, but work related banter nonetheless. Colleagues talking while they work, phone conversations, etc.
The solution: Earphones. They work wonders. Personally, I struggle to focus on my work if I have to compete with a lot of background noise. I’ll simply slip my earphones on and listen to nature sounds.
Do you have any time wasting examples that you experience in the workplace? Post below and we might just be able to help you with a solution!by Cheryl-Anne Roelofsz