Wasting time in office is the major concern of most of the organizations as well as performance-oriented employees also whose working hours go waste because of improper practices of self and others. As the competition in each business sector is getting more intense because of emergence of new rivals and more challenging environment, the businesses are emphasizing to get the peak performance of each employee. On the other side, employees are also trying to improve their performance in protraction to remain valuable for their organizations as well as to achieve their professional goals.
The numbers of employees want to be more productive but some time-wasting activities, being followed since a long, are too tempting. According to research by Salary.com, 89 % of employees are found wasting office hours every day. Almost 10 % of employees were found wasting time even three working hours each day. Harvard Business Review submitted to Covey Center sates, “The business leaders spend almost 6.8 hours/week in doing low/nonvalue activities; they could easily hire someone else @$50/hour to commence these activities. A research-based estimate highlights that low-value, no-value and time-wasting activities may account for more than 30% of work hours per week.
Key Factors That Eat Out Your Time to Make You Less Productive Office:
- Work Habits: Slow-moving; distraction at work; an improper way of problem-solving; poor system/process knowledge; e-mails; virus warnings; administrative tasks; lack of continual learning, tardiness; and the tendency of not to follow the instructions, etc.
- Personal Habits: Personal calls; long lunch breaks; frequent breaks; social media chats; entertaining online; unnecessary research; outside interests, etc.
- Others’ Habits: Unnecessary emails; delayed meetings; aimless meetings; last moment requests; improper communication; poor efficiency of team members; Interruptions etc.
- Corporate Impediments: Major changes in processes; changing directions; unclear job description; inadequate infrastructure support; uncomfortable environment etc.
Any office can't be a perfect place up to your expectations; also, you can't find everything going in a way that you like and expect from others. ‘Even the best has the scope for better’; and, same is the case of organizational management. Therefore, the only solution to stop wasting your time and be more productive in the office is to fine-tune your working habits.
Seven Smarter Ways to Stop Wasting Your Working Hours and be More Productive:
1. Kill Your Distractions: A survey report by Udemy states that workplace distractions often impact performance and productivity negatively causing stress and frustration because of low output at the end of the day. Nearly 3 out of 4 employees feel distracted at work. Moving the distractions towards the closing hours helps you organize and focus better during the rest of the day.
2. Do the Important, Urgent And Complex Tasks First: Dealing with important or urgent projects first delivers a satisfaction of doing something more valuable for your organization; this satisfaction really matters to keep your spirit alive. Starting with smaller and easier projects may keep you busy but often distracts you because of low production value. Also, spending too much time on an important task is a very common practice; don’t put your feet in others’ shoes; instead, chart out the deadline to finish each task.
3. Set Expectations from Your Team: Make sure that everyone in your team follows a schedule and process to contact each other personally at certain times. Holding meetings on time with a deadline is a good way to avoid wasting time. Define the role of each team member in clear terms; define the process; define the deadlines; break up a big assignment into smaller tasks; asses the output at a fixed time etc. Everyone associated with you should follow a specific working culture to be more engaged and let others engaged and focused on the task in hand.
4. Make Yourself Accountable: fewer mistakes means less waste of time. Checklists help us to hold ourselves accountable for particular assignments. At the end of the day, list the tasks for the next day to avoid the possibility of forgetting any important task. Yes, don’t forget to cross mark the tasks that you completed that day. The cross marks over the finished tasks keep you more focused on the unfinished task with the satisfaction of doing good and on time.
5. Stop Multi-Tasking: Multitasking kills productivity, performance and time because our brain can't do different tasks simultaneously. Multitasking kills the depth at the cost of more breadth; as a result, you may know all about happenings at different levels but perform low yourself because of low focus and distractions. According to an estimate, almost $650 billion are wasted in American businesses alone just because of multitasking culture.
6. Invest to Learn Continually: You might have experience in a particular role but the technology is evolving fast; therefore, you need to brush up your skills by learning continually. Short-term learning/training programs like Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Certification training are highly effective, affordable and manageable to improve your credibility within and out of an organization. Organizations are also investing high in training programs like Kaizen Coordinator Certification Training to support their employees drive the peak operational excellence through continuous improvement. Don’t ever miss the opportunities to learn the new. Implementation of learned skills keeps you more engaged.
7. Take Care of Yourself: Can you play with your wellness to be more productive? Your productivity highly depends upon your wellness and comfort level. Yoga, exercise, mediations are the widely followed in-office wellness practices. Taking a short break after finishing the one task helps you relieve the stress and focus better on the next task. Have a vision for career potential and plan; you can perform at any position if you have visible goals.
There are many developments and causes in the workplace that distract us and waste our time. It is true that we can't control or neutralize all the disturbing, distracting and time killing aspects but we can change our habits to minimize their effects upon our productivity. Be well- planned, determined, focused, accountable, analytical and growth-oriented.