Unfortunately, this is not the case, only 60% of time at work is actually spent productively and often this figure is even less. It is estimated that the average employee wastes around 8 hours a week at work. In a standard 9 to 5 job, that’s the equivalent to a whole day wasted! Whilst it is not reasonable to expect employees to spend every single minute of their working day on the job, a little time management training can help employees to reduce the amount of time they waste and help them to get the most out of their day. 

Time Management  – overcoming the 5 biggest time wasters:

A big part of good time management is understanding how and when time is spent doing something valuable and when and how it is wasted. In general, these are some of the biggest time wasters:

1. Emails

Email occupies 23% of the average employee’s workday and while it is often a significant part of working life it can also be a huge distraction. When you consider the 16 minutes it takes to refocus after handling emails it’s not hard to see why it takes up so much time. To avoid the constant interruption of incoming email it is a good idea to turn off alerts and set times of the day dedicated to checking and dealing with email. Inform your manager and colleagues that this is how you work and advise them to call if anything requires your immediate attention, this way people will respect your email checking policy and you won’t miss anything urgent. Our time management training course teaches a number of tips and techniques for managing email more effectively and keeping your inbox under control.

2. Meetings

How many times have you attended a meeting which could have been summarised in an email? How many times have you sat in a meeting and not said a word? Half of all meetings are considered a waste of time by those who attend them. Meetings are scheduled for the wrong reasons; the wrong people are invited and no agendas are set. Ineffective meetings are such a huge productivity killer that as well as our time management training we have a whole training course dedicated to helping leaders to run meetings more effectively.

3. Chatting with colleagues.

There will be times during the working day when you will want to have a chat with your co-workers and there will be times when you need to get your head down to get something done. The problem is it can be hard to tell co-workers you are too busy to talk to them, a good way of signalling that it’s not a good time to chat is to wear ear phones, most of the time if people see this they will try again another time when it is more convenient.

4. Social Media & Distractions

In the digital age, we are faced with so many distractions which must be avoided in order to remain productive. Social media is one of the worst offenders. The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day. That’s a lot of time that could be spent doing something more valuable and more rewarding. So why do we do it to ourselves? We can’t help it – social media is addictive and it has been deliberately designed to be so. When you’re busy at work try putting your phone away in a drawer or bag to avoid mindlessly checking your social media feeds or use blockers on your desktop browser to prevent yourself from visiting sites which waste your time.

5. Disorganisation

A huge part of good time management is learning how to organise yourself and your schedule. A lot of time is wasted through bad organisation skills. It is said that 10 to 12 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day.


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