If you provide customer service at your job it’s not always a bed of roses. Working with the public can be frustrating at times. You may have to help customers who are difficult to deal with if not down-right rude.
At times, however, your coworkers can be nearly as challenging. They may purposefully exclude you at times. Or they could stab you in the back or make cruel comments aimed at you. Some will even step on you as they attempt to bully their way to the top.
One of the more aggravating behaviors of coworkers that I have had to deal with in the past is wasting time. The individuals who waste time are often clock watchers who always make sure they clock in and out at precise times.
That looks great on their time sheets. But they exhibit other behaviors that should be avoided as well. Some of these behaviors are a few of the top time wasters at work that you should try to avoid too.
1. Overuse of Cell Phones
Have you seen other employees’ texting or talking on the phone when they should be working? It’s a common habit these days and one that isn’t easily broken. In addition, overuse of cell phones is one of the top time wasters at work.
If you are also guilty of cell phone dependency you can do something about it. When you are at work simply set it aside in a designated spot away from what you are doing.
Rather than checking for messages every few minutes leave your phone alone until midmorning. Then, scroll through only the most important messages once mid-way through the morning. You can check again at lunch and once more in the middle of the afternoon.
You should only allow yourself about 5 minutes to do this so you are not abusing the privilege. During the rest of the day you should ignore your phone. This allows you to put your attention on your job where it belongs.
2. Checking Email Too Often
Email notifications continue to pop up whether you pay attention to them or not. But each time you stop to acknowledge one by reading the email you lose time.
First you may read it and respond. Next you might complete an associated task. But you lose time when you try to resume what you were doing before being interrupted by the email. That process can take as much as 15 minutes each time.
Rather than stopping to take care of each email as it comes try only checking for emails at intervals. For instance, check your inbox once at the start of the day and then not again until mid-morning. After that, check it at lunch time, mid-afternoon, and the end of the day.
Obviously this suggestion will not always work if you are waiting on a reply to an urgent matter. The point is to try to create small blocks of time when you read and respond to email. Doing so can reduce the time that gets wasted as you attempt to get back to your original task.
3. Lack of Organization
Another of the top time wasters at work is a lack of organization. Having a desk with papers all over it makes you look busy. Unfortunately, it also means you may lack organizational skills.
If that is the case there are ways you can change it. One is to take a few minutes at the end of each day to plan for the next. This helps you prepare for what’s coming tomorrow. It also ensures you don’t miss important meetings, appointments, or deadlines.
File what needs to be kept and shred what should be discarded. Create and label one box or tray for incoming mail and paperwork. Make another for work in progress, and a third for outgoing mail. If needed you can make a forth one for stuff that needs to be filed.
Use your boxes to keep stacks of paper off your desk top. That allows you to concentrate only on what is in front of you and not lose time searching for something hidden beneath other paperwork.
Utilize a calendar to keep track of meetings and appointments. You can also use it to track deadlines and block time in your schedule to work uninterrupted.
There are plenty of things that steal your time when you are trying to get projects done. But you can take control of those top time wasters at work and become more productive.