A weekday evening at the Crooks house is a download of information over the dinner table. How was your day? What did you do today at work/school? Everyone chugs along in their back brief of the day until we get to my husband who tells stories of the numerous meetings, multiple conference calls, and that one (there’s always one) coworker that wastes his time. He is always saying that he wishes that his days were like mine – uninterrupted hours of focused work. It’s true, I’ll admit it. As long as I can manage to close the five browser windows I have open, turn of notifications of emails, silence my cell phone, and keep my office line from ringing I can manage at least a few hours of uninterrupted work time in my home office while my children are in school.
This is a perfected art based on necessity. It wasn’t always like that. Not only did I used to waste a lot of time when I was supposed to be working. I also worked from home and had two children under foot. You learn quickly how to manage your time in blocks like during nap and play time.
I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to balance things out. Learning to separate work from home even though they were the same environment was the one that helped the most. Of course, my children being school-aged and otherwise occupied from 8:30am-2pm helped immensely. I’ve also managed to gain some insight into my own personality and behaviors when it comes to my time spent in my working environment. When you’re focused solely on the work, you tend to…well, get the work done. Interesting concept, I know.
Recently, I read an article on salary.com that caught my eye as I am always interested in how I can improve the career/work area of my life. The article was a current survey taken by salary.com readers on how they were wasting time at work. I don’t know that I knew what I was getting into when I clicked on it. But, boy oh boy, I wonder how many bosses read it?
They asked over 750 readers about their work habits, if they took breaks, what they did in that time, and so much more. The result? 89% of those polled said that they waste time at work. Does that surprise you?
I bet what won’t surprise you is that most of those polled said the biggest time waster was – you guessed it – online.
Google is the biggest online time-waster (24%), with Facebook nipping at the search giant’s heels garnering 23%. LinkedIn came in third with 14%, followed by Yahoo (7%), Amazon (2%), YouTube (2%), ESPN (2%), and Pinterest, Twitter, and Craigslist each receiving 1%.
The other thing I discovered from the article was most people find “wasting time” is productive and they are being proactive by taking short breaks to in turn increase their activity – 53% of them thought this as a matter of fact.
And although most said their wasted time was online (26%) there were plenty who believed just what my husband says every evening, most of the time wasted is being in too many meetings/conference calls and dealing with annoying coworkers (24% each).
If you want to ensure that you’re going to get some work done, try hitting someone up for what you need from them between 9-11am daily. Those seem to be the most productive times of the day for most. I would have to agree with them on this. Those tend to be my focus times too.
How about you? Do you waste time at work? Is it online? If not, where is it? When is your most productive time of the work day?