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It’s logical that when you come to work, you want to do some actual work. You want to accomplish something, and you want your boss to see your productivity and dedication.

Have you ever given a thought on how are you spending your time at work? How much of that time are you doing the actual job? You may be wasting your precious time without even realizing it.

There are silent killers of productivity, and there are some obvious ones. But you might not be aware of half of the things you do. Here are six things that steal your time at work the most.

1. Replying to Emails

Emails are undeniably out of great importance when it comes to business communication. We are swamped with emails daily, but the thing is not all of them are THAT important.

When summed up, the time we spend responding to emails is shocking. That’s the way people like to start their workday. But what they do is postpone the real work that they should be doing.

The thing you could do to help you avoid finding yourself in a loop of responding to thousands of emails is to flag those that are most important, so you know that those are your priority, and you won’t waste your time reading all the others.

Other, not-so-important emails can wait until you have some spare time.

2. Cellphone

The number of times people check their phones is shamefully high. Leaving your phone on silent sometimes isn’t enough, because you still hear that buzz.

And then your curiosity just won’t let you be, and you need to go and check it out. And if you haven’t heard any buzzing sounds, you still need to check just in case someone important has reached out.

What you need to do is schedule a particular time you’re going to look at your phone, and stick to the plan. Limit yourself the similar way you did with your emails, respond only to the most important texts and calls.

To be productive, you must prioritize almost everything, including people that text and call you.

3. Chitchatting

You may be one of the lucky ones with great co-workers whose company you genuinely enjoy. Or maybe there’s just that one co-worker that’s a close friend as well. That’s great; it makes your job ten times better.

However, know when’s the time to hang out and when’s the time to do some actual work.

The time to hang out is never in the office. The only exception is when you’re on a break. But don’t make your trips to the water cooler trip-to-Mordor long. You’re there to get water, not to tell your life story.

If you want to hang with your buddies from work, ask them to go for a drink after work.

4. Clocks

If you are obsessing about time, it will kill your productivity without a doubt. Measuring how much time you have left to finish your assignment or how long until the break- you’re not going to get very productive.

You need to focus on your task, instead of obsessing about how much time you have for doing it.

Planning your day will be a much more efficient way to deal with this problem. Think ahead about the tasks you should be doing for that day, and stick to your schedule.

You know the approximate time it takes to do a specific job. If you plan your day, you won’t have that much free time to think about the time. Keep yourself busy and focused.

5. Multitasking

Sure, multi-tasking looks excellent on paper, but that’s about it. You might think you’re doing several things at once, but you’re wasting time.

It is not possible to be equally productive doing four things at once as you would be if you were doing one at a time. It will take you three times more time to do a task than it would regularly.

When doing several things at once you’re tricked into thinking you’re super productive, but you will do a mediocre job, and it will take you more time. And again, proper organization is the key.

If you organize your tasks, you won’t have to do several things at once. That way, everyone can have your  undivided attention, and you will do a much better job.

6. Internet

The Internet, oh. A land filled with wonders. As it can be our friend in numerous situations, it can also be our frenemy. You can find a bunch of useful information there, but the Internet is chock-full of material that will distract you from the actual work.

From social media, YouTube, exciting articles, to quizzes about which kind of bread represents your business style.

It is easy to get sucked in the loop. You promised yourself to start with work just after you check your Facebook and Twitter. Two hours later, you haven’t even started, and you’re laughing at memes about a corporal world and crying to a YouTube video of a gorilla cuddling up to a man and his wife.

You need to have strict boundaries when it comes to browsing through the web. It’s very likely that you’ll have to use it for work, but don’t let yourself get sucked into the black hole. And it is so easy to get there. So, so easy. 

So now you have six things that are the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting time at work. You want to be efficient and to make your time at work count.

It is simple to get sidetracked; this is why you need some extra planning and extra discipline not to let yourself fall into your trap.

Effective organization and some self-discipline are essential. If you don’t think that those are your strong points, don’t fall into desperation. With some time and practice, anyone can become better at it. It does take some time to adjust, but once you do, it gets 100 percent better.


Written By
Nikolina Stankovic is a writer for Employment Hub, where she shares advice on finding a job, advancing in career and business life in general. She is a translator, enjoys writing poetry, drawing and expressing herself creatively.

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