Top productivity killers

Top time wasters

Business and people are even more connected today as a result of the technology available. Time is a precious commodity. We need tools and applications to make us more productive but do they?

However, as useful as they are, they are also a great source of distraction. Interrupting our day, creating pressure, extending the working day and actually making us less productive and waste more time.

We spend longer and longer at work with 50% of employees working more than 40+ hours, less than 60% of the working day is productive. Up to 15 hours a week is wasted or unproductive time.


Top time wasters that are killing productivity

1. Email

Email is an important way of communicating and sharing information. Over 2 million emails are sent every second. Managers and senior execs are likely to send and receive over 122 emails every day. The majority of people check their email several times a day.

Employees may spend up to four hours (50%) of each day just on their email, (including personal email). 10% is spam and only 14% is likely to be important or critical to their work.

Digital technology now means we’re even more connected than before. 62% of people now check their email while at home or on holiday.

Manage your email

  • Switch off alerts
  • Only check email 2-3 times a day
  • Set aside time to read and respond to email
  • Use filters and folders to organise email
  • Follow good email practice


2. Meetings

Management meetings with multiple employees consume thousands of hours every year. Busy professionals may attend up to 60 meetings each month. 26-30% of them see this is wasted time.

As well as time spent in meetings, additional time is needed for travelling, preparing and following up after meetings. Meeting face-to-face takes more time and costs more than virtual meetings.

Unplanned and impromptu meetings also kill productivity.

Reduce meetings by 30%

  • Only attend important meetings
  • Have an agenda, objectives and outcomes
  • Invite the right people for an effective meeting
  • No back-to-back meetings
  • Allow time to prepare, travel and follow-up when planning meetings


3. Distractions and interruptions

All this technology is demanding our attention and just added to the sources of distraction and interruptions we receive in the average working day.

Each interruption breaks the flow and it takes a few minutes to get back on task.

Distractions and interruptions waste over 2 hours a day – 80% of these interruptions aren’t important.

Regain lost time

  • Prioritise any interruptions over current work
  • Focus on one task at a time
  • Switch off sources of distraction – phone, mobiles, email
  • Set time limits when distracted or interrupted
  • Find a quiet place to work


4. Tools, systems and processes

Technology enables us to stay connected and be contactable 24/7 but also allows work to overflow into personal time.

People rely on IT to do their jobs. Out-of-date, poorly designed or disconnected systems and processes create more work when they don’t work or aren’t used correctly.

Waiting for technology or dealing with IT issues causes stress, frustration and wastes time. The flow of communication is disrupted and additional work is needed to duplicate or recreate documents. Rework, searching for information and missing documents costs UK business £15 billion a year.

  • Invest in training
  • Keep technology updated
  • Implement the right tools and apps
  • Review systems and processes
  • Create boundaries around work

Inefficient and unproductive ways of working lose millions of hours and cost business £000’s for every employee each year.

Work smarter. Use the right skills and technology to improve productivity and reduce costs.