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10 Productivity Killers that are Wasting Your Time at Work

When it comes to running a business online, something that I have always found quite annoying is having to wait on others. This could be anything from having to wait more than 24 hours to get an email response, waiting on advertisers or ad networks to have simple ad copy or creative made and especially waiting around for simple tasks to get accomplished that I could easily do within five minutes. This isn’t meant to be a rant… I just want to bring light to some of the many struggles online entrepreneurs and marketers have to deal with on a daily basis.

This is especially true and annoying because at the same time we know how much time is wasted in other areas that really don’t matter. This includes distractions throughout the day, social media, random internet surfing, endless meetings that rarely result in anything new, and the list goes on. Now imagine if you were running a business and had a bunch of employees wasting endless hours of their day, on your dollar no less!

With so many automation tools and applications in place today, it’s a wonder why things still take so long to get worked on. Today I wanted to highlight an infographic from CareerBuilder, on the 10 Biggest Productivity Killers at Work.

The next time you are waiting on a project or simple task to get accomplish… just think about how many of these factors might be getting in the way. 🙂

10 Biggest Productivity Killers at Work

To cover all of these points in detail, I broke the following infographic apart by section, then highlighted all of the data points and provided a few resources in between. How many of these productivity killers are part of your daily routine?

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While the benefits of working online and having an ‘internet-based’ business far outweigh the cons, the amount of time that is wasted on an average day is quite overwhelming. The internet has removed the need for world travel to attend meetings at different locations, while also making it easy for employees to work from the comfort of their own homes.

However, even with all of those advantages in place… how much of that time is actually being spent working vs. “just being there”.

  • During the typical workday, 24% of workers admit they spend at least one hour each day on personal calls, emails or texts. That’s an extra 25+ hours a week of company time being used for personal use.
  • In addition to time being spent on personal calls, emails or text, 21% of workers estimate they spend one hour or more searching the internet for non-work reasons… which brings us to nearly 50+ hours of wasted work hours per week!

Yes, we are all probably guilty of using our cell phones, email and internet usage for personal use while at work, but those aren’t the only areas wasting valuable company time.

What’s Killing Productivity Levels at Work?

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As much as your company or boss would like to blame you for the lack of productivity and amount of work getting done, it’s actually a team effort and likely falls on many of your other co-workers as well. When asked which workplace disruptions are seen as ruining productivity, the following points were made.

  • Cell Phones and Texting – As mentioned in the previous section, as long as you have a mobile device and email accessible, it’s going to be hard to limit times you randomly check for updates throughout the day. Want to keep your mobile device on hand, but not have it distracting you throughout the day? Follow these tips.
  • Gossip – While some people might say this one is more aimed at women, I’m sure men fall into this category as well. “Gossip” more likely covers all “non-work” related discussions throughout the day, including sports, current events, and politics.
  • Internet Surfing – Random browsing of the internet throughout the days is gonna happen. If you want to get better at it, try using distraction-free browsing applications that will only allow you to access sites you need to work out.
  • Social Media – Social media is another nasty time-sucker. Sure, you likely went on to post something about the company or to send out a promotional tweet, but 20 mins later and you still forgot why you were there in the first place! Try a solution like MeetEdgar to put your social media marketing on automation!
  • Snack / Smoke Breaks – Random breaks throughout the day aren’t just killing your productivity levels, they are also annoying to everyone else who is still working.
  • Noisy Co-Workers – Another annoyance and productivity killer in the workplace is other people just being rude and annoying while you are trying to work. Throw on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and stay focused on your own work for the day. Ignore the distractions, focus on your own goals and maybe even leave the office a few minutes early in the process.
  • Meetings – Meetings are a requirement of business, but they also take up a lot of time. Everything from planning the meeting to taking notes and then putting everything into action afterwards. Sometimes it’s amazing that any work actually gets accomplished as a result of a meeting! However, there are better ways to manage time, organize events, and take notes during meetings. To improve company results and time management, refer to these board meeting minutes and see how they can be applied for minimizing wasted time and increasing productivity in your next meeting.
  • Email – Email is a required for nearly all online business, however, there are plenty of ways to take better control over it. Cleaning up your inbox is ideal, but so is using templates and autoresponders to get more done. How many times are you answering and sending out the same emails per day? A great example of how to do this would be through the use of Gmail canned responses.
  • Co-Workers Dropping By / Speaker Phone – Just two more examples of co-workers making your day more annoying and less productive. Get more done by minding your own business and not distracting others throughout the day.

When you start to look at each of the factors above, you can really start to see how your productivity levels aren’t just damaged because of your own personal interests… but it’s actually quite inflated due to the annoyance and lack of focus of those also around you.

How to Improve Overall Productivity at Work

No matter where you are working or how many distractions you come across in a given day, we would all like to live and work in more productive environments. CareerBuilder reported that 73% of employers have taken efforts to address productivity killers at work — here’s a look at what they’ve done.

  • 22%  monitor emails and internet usage
  • 12% limit meetings
  • 36% block certain internet sites
  • 11% restrict use of speaker phones if not in an office
  • 25% prohibit personal calls and cell phones

By implementing just a few of these methods, businesses around the world could save millions of hours per week.

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How to Make the Most Out of Your Personal and Work Time

Productivity and time management is something we all struggle with. This is even more of an issue for people who work from home or run their own online business. When you don’t have a boss or other co-workers to keep you on your toes throughout the day, it’s easy to lose focus and interest in what you are doing.

Add the following components to your everyday work life, and you should see some solid productivity performance across the board.

  • Stop multi-tasking
  • Work in a naturally lit area
  • Learn to start saying no
  • Break up your day with a walk or short nap
  • Work in sprints and don’t drain yourself

Now get back to work! 🙂

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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