10 of the Biggest Time Wasters at Work and How to Eliminate Them

Technique #3: Identify Time Wasters and Implement Solutions to Eliminate Them

There are so many potential time wasters in the work environment that, in fact, it would be a further waste of time to list them all here! My intent in citing the ones I’ve selected here is to help you recognize where these time traps exist—and start finding solutions to them.


Distractions come in a variety of flavors—e-mail alerts, phone calls, unexpected visitors, office gossip or politics, and employees who aren’t doing their jobs. Every office has a Chatty Patty—the individual (male or female) who loves to talk and is oblivious to the fact that you may actually be trying to get something done. Not only have they potentially wasted 5 or 10 minutes of your time with their useless chatter—but it will now take you even more time to pick up where you left off. So in reality, they’ve squandered about 15 minutes or more of your time. Consider the cost of one 15-minute distraction per day for an entire year for an employee making $50,000. It adds up to 62.5 hours for the year—more than a full week of work!—at a cost of $1,500.00. Multiply $1,500 times the number of employees where you work; the amount of money is staggering. This may not matter much to an employee of the organization, unless their productivity is tied to a performance-based pay increase, bonus, or how late they end up staying. I can assure you, however, that ...

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