7 Most Common Time Wasters That Can Distract from Work
When it comes to your professional career, it’s easy to lose focus in your work tasks. One of the challenging things in doing work is staying focused and avoiding all sources of distractions. It’s so frustrating to have the self-control and discipline to avoid certain time wasters and focus solely on your work instead. Comparing to home office is considered to be a right place to be focused on work. Yes, we agree, however, not everyone realizes that actually office is a source of various time wasters that may easily distract you from work.
Let’s take social media, for instance. If you constantly have your phone by your side, you can easily just grab your phone and forget the task given to you. In result, this will negatively reflect in both your work performance and attitude. In this article, we’ll discuss time wasters that can distract you at workplace.
1. Using your phone
This is, by far, the primary distraction that any of us have. When you have your phone by your side the entire time you’re doing work, it’s easy to get distracted from social media, messages, and other notifications. While some work environments need their phones to communicate, reduce your screen time if it’s possible. Having your phone by your side will encourage you to lose your focus completely, until you forget about the task in front of you.
Social media itself is a big issue. On average we spend about 2 hours and 24 minutes (144 minutes) daily on social media. Once you open Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or other social media channels to check something out, unconsciously you’ll go deep inside. That’s how you waste more time at work than you supposed to.
2. Workplace clutter
Whether you’re aware of it or not, workplace clutter is a real thing that can distract you away from work. If your things are all over your desk, whether it’s a bunch of paperwork or other personal belongings, you’ll end up with a lack of focus. This is the space you work majority of the day and when it’s messy and unorganized, this can distract you from your tasks and deadlines. When you have an organized desk space, the more you have the right mindset to get to work.
It might seem not that important as long as you are comfortable with this, but in an organized place you’ll stay more focused. And when you are focused every time when working, it’ll positively impact on productivity.
3. Chatty co-workers
There’s nothing wrong with chatting your co-workers over coffee during your small breaks. However, if there’s a deadline you have to finish, it’s best to be firm on your priorities and chat with them later. If they’re persistent in chatting you during work hours, kindly tell them that you have a deadline to finish and you’ll get back to them after you’re finished with the task.
For many people it’s difficult to stay focused in noisy place, if the workplace is a modern open-office floor then the issue is more serious. Ambient noise, higher level of stress, lack of privacy, less concentration and motivation – these are what workers experience comparing to standard offices.
Multitasking is quite an admirable trait; however, it’s also one of the biggest time wasters. Instead of being able to deliver your project on time, you’re focused on trying to do everything – all at once.
In reality, this doesn’t always turn out for the best. If you want to be productive at work, it’s best to focus on one project at a time. When you switch between two or more tasks you lose your concentration, start getting nervous and feel pressure. As a rule, under the pressure it’s easy to lose oneself and make mistakes.
Prioritize your tasks and decide for yourself what to do first and what is the next. Even it may take a bit longer time do one thing at a time, in the end you don’t have to correct mistakes or redo the task.
5. Going out for breaks too often
Again, there’s nothing wrong with going for breaks every now and then. However, this can be a huge waste of time if you aren’t careful enough. If you have a task you need to finish, you should put a pause in buying that coffee for later. Avoid going for breaks too often as you can forget your priorities at hand.
Going out in a reasonable amount for lunch or coffee break is good. But leaving your work to buy snacks or some junk food every time when you feel hunger or thirst leads to lowering your energy. Your eating and drinking habits affect your time, so learn to divert time wasting habits to optimize your productivity.
At any work there are more people who say “I’ll do it later, I have some time” than those who say “I’ll do it right now”. It is one of the reasons why not everyone shows the same level of performance.
Nothing good will happen if you ignore your work and procrastinate it, you can’t just skip it. Moreover, nobody is going to do your work, most likely they will another person to your place. Therefore, procrastination is one of the worst time wasters in our lives.
Often procrastination happens when there is no motivation or concentration. If that happens with you, you have no other choice than push yourself to start. Creativity and concentration come after starting, and that’s true.
7. Saying “Yes” to everyone
This is also one of the crucial time-wasting habits. Don’t say “Yes” to your every co-worker just to please everyone.
When somebody asks for your help, do not rush with decision. First, estimate your own possibilities, potential outcomes, and of course, the reward you’ll get in exchange. Does it really worth your time? If no, then just say “No”. Maybe that person gets disappointed, but it’s better than disappointing everyone.
Around you there are enough individuals and time wasters that can distract you from work, so understand what you really need and what not, and do not overburden yourself. Manage properly your time to arrange enough time to your work and personal life.
If you truly want to avoid being consumed with these distractions, just think that the faster you finish your work, the earlier you’ll get to do your own things. You control yourself by having the drive and motivation to finish your work and knowing about the negative impacts that these time wasters will cause on your professional life.