How to stop wasting time at work

“You either waste, spend or invest time. Make your choice wisely” - Sunday Adelaja

How much time do you waste at work? Come on be honest, whether it’s on purpose or by accident, you’ll be wasting some time each week. If you’re not, then you’re in the minority because according to a Forbes study, 89% of people waste time at work. What can be done to limit the amount of time wasted?

Since we’re acknowledging we’re wasting time at work, what are we doing instead of just doing the work? SEEK commissioned Survey Sampling International who reported that:

  • 48% are talking in the office with colleagues (little wonder most workers feel they can get more done when working from home)
  • 39% are on social media
  • 30% do not want to work
  • 28% do nothing
  • 27% take longer than expected breaks

Maybe a different way to look at this is to consider what’s different when we limit the time being wasted. Why do we seem to get more done leading into a holiday? Simply put, we’re more focused when we’re driven by a deadline (the holiday).

This begs the question; How could we replicate a similar level of efficiency each week? Four areas to get right are:

  • Have an effective workflow – it’s amazing the level of momentum realised from an effective workflow that’s scalable and sustainable. Conversely, it’s hard to get much done with an ineffective workflow.
  • Make commitments to deadlines – schedule what you’ll achieve and by when. Scheduling work helps reduce distractions by keeping us on point. Whereas, when we don’t schedule tasks time tends to expand by taking as long as the uncommitted time available.
  • Leadership – managers need to understand the levers to pull that will drive performance and leverage potential from their team. This includes supporting them by mentoring, removing obstacles and driving outcomes.
  • Meetings need to be effective – hold concise meetings that motivate and don’t waste time.

High performing teams consist of outstanding individuals who collaborate in the pursuit of a shared vision. There’s no room to carry low performers. High performing workers don’t waste time because they deliver results by having a working rhythm that’s aligned with their strengths, weaknesses and preferences.

How much more of an impact could you make if you wasted less time?