Dealing With Time Wasters At Work – 7 Major Time Wasters

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Being productive at work is a dream we all see!

You must want to have control over your time when you’re at work.

What will I learn?

But unfortunately, from the latest TV shows to talking around the water cooler. There are so many distractions that serve as time-wasters at the workplace.

7 Major Time Wasters At Work

If these time-wasters get identified, it’s easier to avoid them and manage your time well.

Don’t worry! You don’t need to be a productivity expert for doing so.

This article highlights some of the critical time-wasters at work. Also, the ways to cope with these time wasters are mentioned here.

So let’s get started with this!

1. Social Media Distraction Is A Big Time Waster

We all feel the urge to check our social media during work hours. Thinking of taking a quick peek at your Twitter, you might end up wasting hours.

Social media is a big time waster as we spend hours commenting, posting, or scrolling through the feed.

Social Media Consumes The Most Useful Time Of Yours
Social Media Distraction Is A Big Time Waster

When the attention gets diverted in the middle of an important task, we lose track.

It might take hours or even days to get back to that track and continue the thought.

2. Time Wasters At Work – Checking Emails Again And Again

Emails are a popular way of communication but checking the inbox after minutes is a huge time waster.

A study shows that an average person spends 2.6 hours of the workday reading just emails.

That’s quite enough time to be wasted on mere emails. Although some emails are essential most of them are just ignorable.

If You Keep On Checking Your Mail Inbox You Will Waste Time
Time Wasters At Work – Checking Emails Again And Again

There are other better and essential things you could be doing instead of checking the inbox.

Checking the inbox diverts your attention from every other task you were doing. Then you need time to get back into that particular frame of mind to complete that task.

3. A Time Waster Is Attending Unproductive Meetings

It’s a truth that all work meetings are not necessary. Holding meetings just for the sake of sharing details and updates is a huge time waster.

By conducting such meetings, you waste your own time and of other people too. That is left with less time to complete their tasks after the meeting.

Unproductive Meetings Are The Major Time Wasters At Work
A Time Waster Is Attending Unproductive Meetings

The average meeting time is 30 minutes to an hour, and these take 31 hours in a month. Much time wasted!

Scheduling a meeting takes a lot of time. You have to send invitations and reminders to attendees.

In the end, if there’s no productive reason for a meeting, attendees feel uninterested. It also lowers performance after the session.

4. Time Wasters At Work – No Prioritization For The Tasks

Lack of prioritization for the tasks is a huge time waster. If you haven’t made a to-do-list, you don’t know what to accomplish.

You’d waste your precious time doing things that don’t matter at all. It’s a popular time-waster.

Time Wasters At Work
Time Wasters At Work – No Prioritization For The Tasks

Most of us are unproductive because of poor planning. You must have felt that you’re too busy and doing whatever possible to meet your goals.

But still, you feel unaccomplished. Well, that’s because you aren’t doing what’s essential.

Working on multiple projects will leave you in a maze if you don’t how to prioritize your tasks.

5. Procrastinating The Tasks Is A Time Waster

There are two categories of tasks we procrastinate to do. The first kind of jobs are too challenging to tackle, and the other ones we don’t want to do.

It’s a problem linked to the lack of prioritization. And we deny a task until it becomes inevitable to complete it.

Procrastination Consumes Your Time
Procrastinating The Tasks Is A Time Waster

But you know what, procrastinating on a task never helps!

Why is it so?

If you put the task to do on another day, it won’t make the task disappear. It lies on your table and is looking at you to complete it.

Procrastinating a task for so long can make you uninterested and demotivates you.

6. Talking Around The Water Cooler

Water cooler talks are time wasters when you gossip about anything unrelated to work.

It wastes the time of many! Such discussions won’t end any soon and reduce your time to do your work.

Time Wasters At Work
Talking Around The Water Cooler

Although such discussions are suitable for teamwork and strong bonding, you won’t want anything to reduce the amount of work you do every day.

It also leaves space for gossips and miscommunications among team members.

7. Time Wasters At Work – Snacks And Breaks

We all do need a break from time to time during the workday. But these breaks become a time-waster when you take a break for hours.

If you have too much on your to-do-list, then take a few minutes’ breaks.

Eating Snacks And Having Frequent Breaks Will Waste Your Time
Time Wasters At Work – Snacks And Breaks

Getting time to eat snacks or having coffee is another time waster. It would help if you didn’t waste an hour on finishing that sandwich.

Although coffee is a must-have during work to stay active, don’t waste half an hour just making your coffee.

8 Tips For Eliminating The Time Wasters At Work

As we all have wasted an enormous amount of time at our workplace, we need to stop doing this. Here are some ways you can use to cope with the time-wasters at work.

1. Identify The Kind Of Day It’s Going To Be

Some days we want to be active on social media and post on Facebook and Twitter.

Then there are some days we want to lock the cabin and put our ass to work. And on some days, we might want to chill, read a bit and see what’s going on in the surroundings.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these days. These all are good!

The real game is to determine every morning that what kind of day you’re going to have.

Define And Pre-Plan Your Day
Identify The Kind Of Day Its Going To Be

Set your expectations and do whatever is required to fulfill these. You can make a to-do-list and prioritize your tasks for the day.

There’s nothing worse than planning to complete a task and then feeling the regret of not doing so.

2. Get Dressed Properly To Deal With Time Wasters At Work

Not going anywhere makes it easy to roam around in the house in your sweatpants.

It can be cool for a while since you aren’t going anywhere in particular and have no commitments.

Sounds dreamy! Right? But here’s the reality knocking at your door. You are an adult who has got shit to do.

So get dressed for the day like an adult and survive it like a boss.

3. Don’t Create And Consume Side By Side

Multitasking sounds good, but it isn’t beneficial. Different demands are competing with each other to get our attention.

It all turns out to be a mess!

My advice to you is don’t create and consume at the same time. Because when you make something, you get entirely indulged in what you’re doing.

Avoid Multitasking To Save Your Time
Don’t Create And Consume Side By Side.

Creativity demands peace, and there shouldn’t be any distraction.

While consuming is something completely different. When you consume, you’re open to everything.

You are undoubtedly ready to go with the flow!

If you do both at the same time, you will end up doing nothing. So save your time by avoiding multitasking.

4. Time Wasters At Work – Use A Timer

Using a timer while you’re creating something helps a lot more than your imagination.

Set the timer according to the type of the task. Start the timer and focus on your task to complete it within your expected time.

It is a perfect way of eliminating time wasters at the workplace.

5. Always Work On One Device

There’s a flaw in working from home, and that is you can work whenever and wherever you want.

It leaves no space between your work life and personal life. The use of tablets and smartphones have made it easier to work across many devices.

Keep Your Work On One Computer To Avoid Getting Your Time Wasted
Always Work On One Device

Such constant connection to work can be mind-draining as you always have something to do.

You’ll feel more accomplished if you work only on your office computer. It will also save you time, and you won’t have to keep sending documents from here to there.

6. Use A Reset Button

If you feel distracted while working, it’s helpful to have a reset button in your life.

A reset button can be the power button of your laptop. So whenever you feel drained, use the reset button.

Restart your computer, take a few deep breaths and start fresh all over again.

The reset button can be an activity that takes you away from your computer for a while. So when you come back to work, you’re ready to rock the floor!

7. Time Wasters At Work – Know When To Stop Working

Set a deadline for yourself and know exactly when you’re going to stop working. For instance, six hours from now, you’ll end this project and start the new meeting.

Major Time Wasters At Work
Time Wasters At Work – Know When To Stop Working

You can have any way to measure your time for working. But what matters the most is to be sure when to stop the work.

If you don’ set a deadline, you’ll keep going, and after a while, the work will revolve around your head.

8. Go Out And Do Something

You’ve been cooped up in the office for a while. Now, as you have finished your work, you deserve a break.

Have a drink with your friends or do something you love to do. That is the best way to make yourself keep going.

So the next day, when you get into the grind, you can cherish the last night’s moments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Time Wasting Activities?

Procrastination is the most prominent time-wasting activity done in the workplace. Whining comes second, though you won’t get anything from it. Gossiping and doing other people’s work are some other activities that waste your time.

Is It Ok To Waste Time?

Time wasting may not sound right. But there’s a good reason for this, that is time-wasting makes you more productive. We all need a break from work and switch off. If you waste a bit of your time, you’ll feel more productive.

What Is Considered Wasting Time?

To waste time means not being productive. It also involves doing things that don’t provide any value. It also means to do trivial activities instead of actual work that provides any benefit.

Is Relaxing A Waste Of Time?

Relaxing will make you more productive. You can also make others feel the same, which are around you. But you should limit the time of relaxing and inspire others to do the same.


Time wasters at the workplace are one of the common issues. We have got to deal with them to enhance our productivity and for growing the business.

After reading this article, you must identify which time-wasters at the workplace are causing trouble.

You can efficiently use the tips to give here to deal with time-wasters at work.

Even if there are other time management issues, these tips can help you in one or another way.

Share your experience in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 2 years by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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