Time is one of your most precious resources, and once it’s spent, you can’t get it back. The decisions you make regarding your routine time profoundly affect your productivity on the job, so it’s imperative that you focus your efforts on getting the most done that you possibly can.

Here are some productivity-shattering time-wasters to avoid during your work day.


Although multitasking offers the illusion of getting more things done, in fact it is the enemy of productivity. When you are doing too many things at once, you are doing nothing well. The diminished quality of your work is not worth its speedy accomplishment. Instead, prioritize your work, and focus on one task at a time until it is fully complete.

Scheduling Too Many Meetings

Before you schedule a meeting and pull everyone away from their work, consider whether it is really necessary. Every meeting should have a specific purpose, a clear agenda, and a time limit.

Abusing Instant Messaging

Instant messaging can be a powerful enhancement to office productivity. It allows employees to swiftly communicate and share resources and insight. However, this tool can easily degenerate into a time-wasting source of gossip and meaningless conversations. Monitor its use carefully to be sure it is not hindering productivity.

Obsessing on Emails

Another communication device that often becomes an office time-waster is email. Used properly, it is a convenient tool for sharing ideas, but if overused, it can cost you more time than it saves. If your correspondence becomes too complicated, pick up a phone and have a conversation instead.

Becoming Overly Available

If you’re attempting to create a good impression, you may be tempted to agree to accept any work that’s offered to you. However, it is important that you realize your limits. When others want favors or ask you to take on new projects but your plate is already full, learn to say no to their requests.

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