4 Biggest Time Wasters and How to Take Your Time Back

Almost every professional would say that time is the most valuable resource in their work. Learn how to stop wasting time and get your schedule back.

Published on 26 August, 2016 | Last modified on 1 November, 2022
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Ask any professional what resource is most precious and we guarantee you 9 out of 10 will say “time.” Modern professionals are pulled in a million different directions at any given moment, making every minute valuable. In any office, there are certain tasks that are notorious for their time-wasting nature. But which ones are the top culprits? Here is what the numbers tell us:
Meetings: We’ve all been there. Cooped up in the back of a conference room, staring off into space, thinking of a million different ways your time would be better spent. It’s no surprise that 47 percent of professionals cited excessive meetings as their top time-waster.
Busywork: Busywork is the bane of many professionals’ existence. From filing lengthy paperwork to updating old files, these tasks have no real purpose and can leave workers feeling frustrated. Over 20 percent of professionals claimed that unproductive work tasks eat up a considerable chunk of their limited time.
Socializing: Unlike busywork or boring meetings, socializing can be pretty fun, but it eats up work minutes all the same. Of professionals, 14 percent reported that socializing in the office is a considerable waste of their time. While casually chatting with colleagues is enjoyable in moderation, employees need to make sure it’s not cutting too deep into their work schedule.
Computer Glitches: Unsurprisingly, pesky IT problems are seen as a substantial time-waster for workers, and 11 percent of professionals cited computer glitches as the primary reason for wasted time during the workday.14127884image scaled 1
Tackling Time-Takers: All of the problems mentioned above represent a specific problem. So, are there any ways to address time-wasting as a whole in a more general way? We came up with four quick tips.For starters, professionals need to hold themselves accountable. Take a day to track what you do on a typical workday. Is there a lot of time being spent on wasteful activities? Where could you afford to cut some corners? Consciously tracking these things can help you become more aware of when you are wasting time in the future.While this may not apply to all of the above time-wasters, unnecessary meetings are a big player in the time-wasting game. Therefore, professionals should create a meeting process with detailed parameters. Start this process before the meeting is even set by asking yourself if the meeting is actually necessary. If it is, create hard time stops when permissible and try to stick to them. This will prevent meetings running over unless there is a valid reason.When possible, organizations should try and break down bureaucracy. Traditional organizational structures often hinder meaningful action by causing the path to decision-making to be overly complicated. Ditching this standard hierarchy within reason can free up a lot of time otherwise spent on approvals.Lastly, professionals should always have a second plan. Create a running to-do list in case of emergencies. Is your computer experiencing glitches? Turn to the list and get started on some outstanding tasks. This will help clear up some of your pesky backlog and ensure that while things are in a lull you are still staying on task.mimeo_motorola_case_study_graphicWe are obsessed with giving our customers back their time. Learn how Mimeo has already given Motorola Solutions employees back 30% of their time. 
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Mimeo Marketing Team

Mimeo is a global online print provider with a mission to give customers back their time. By combining front and back-end technology with a lean production model, Mimeo is the only company in the industry to guarantee your late-night print order will be produced, shipped, and delivered by 8 am the next morning. For more information, visit mimeo.com and see how Mimeo’s solutions can help you save time today.

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