In April, we asked our readers to share with us about the biggest waste of their time on a daily basis. And with 21% of the votes, “Constant interruptions by employees/co-workers” was the top choice, followed closely behind by “Reading/replying to email” at 17%, and “Unnecessary meetings” at 15%.
The rest of the results are as follows:
- General disorganization (9%)
- Social media/internet browsing (9%)
- Idle chit chat with co-workers (8%)
- Micromanaging employees (5%)
- Last-minute projects (5%)
- Phone calls/texting (3%)
- Dealing with personal tasks/errands (1%)
- Smoke/snack breaks (1%)
Just over 4% of respondent to the poll selected the “Other” option and submitted their own answers, including:
- Poor communication
- Bouncing between projects
- Computer issues
- Legal red tape
- Fixing mistakes
Stop the interruptions before they stop you
In any workplace, interruptions are always going to be a way of life. However, there are steps you can take to reclaim your time and get some work done.
Set boundaries – Close your door and make your intentions known—you are in work mode now and can’t be interrupted. If you set clear boundaries and give enough notice to your employees and co-workers that you will be out of hand for a few hours, they may be more apt to give you some space.
Unplug – Of course, if you need to take building your fortress of solitude a step further, try completely unplugging. Close your email, turn off your phone—even your personal mobile phone—basically, make it nearly impossible to reach you.
Get off the grid – Finally, if you need complete confidence that you can’t be found, it may be necessary to leave the office altogether. Whether that means going to a local coffee shop, heading home, or to some undisclosed location nobody knows about but you, find a spot where you are assured total isolation.
What are some ways you waste time at work? What steps have you taken to address them? Let us know in the comments section below.