Now friends, let me ask you a question: how much time do you actually waste when you’re at work? You don’t have to answer it, but think about it. Do you actually get all of your work done in a timely manner? Or do you constantly find yourself rushing to meet your deadlines at the end of the day? Chances are you’ve developed some small, but still not great, habits that have kept you from being your most productive self. That’s why this week’s goal centers around helping you stop wasting work time so that you can feel more relaxed during your workday!
I know that I’ve developed a number of bad habits since I started working full-time last June. But this month I’m taking active steps to course correct so that I can increase my productivity and not feel rushed at the end of my day. So these tips? Yeah . . . rest assured, I didn’t just pull them out of nowhere. They’re tried and true solutions that I’ve tested to prevent my own procrastination, and with any luck you’ll navigate away from this article (and maybe onto this one?) with some actionable steps to help you stop wasting work time, too!
Alright friends, it’s time to stop wasting work time and actually get sh*t done.
Keep a water bottle and snacks at your desk.
Look. The “gossiping at the water cooler” movie trope exists for a reason. The same goes for the snack machine, which is, often, in the same place. And I get it, you want to stay hydrated and satiated throughout the day, there’s nothing wrong with that! But think about how much time you waste idly chatting with coworkers while you grab a drink or a snack from the break room.
[ Read On : Free Time Productivity Hacks that Won’t Waste Your Day ]
If you want to stop wasting work time, I definitely recommend keeping your drinks and snacks at your desk. Get a big water bottle and fill it up at the beginning of the morning! See if you can time it so that you only need to refill it on your lunch break. If you find that you just have to have your 3pm slump snack each day, start keeping some granola bars or nuts in your drawer. Not only will you save yourself an extended trip to the break room, but you’ll also save yourself some money and the environment some stress! After all, you can buy your favorite granola bars cheaper at the grocery store than in the snack machine. And that reusable water bottle definitely makes less of an impact on the environment than those paper cones.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t ever run to the breakroom for a quick sip or snack? No, of course not! But if you keep your snacks and water bottle handy I’m sure you’ll find that you have more time in your work day!If you find yourself wasting time during the day at the water cooler or snack machine, start keeping a water bottle and some snacks at your desk. This way you won't be tempted to slack off and you'll stay healthy and hydrated! Click To Tweet
Leave your phone in your desk when you go to the bathroom.
“But Logan!” I can hear you cry, “That’s the one time I let myself use my phone! When am I supposed to use it now?”
Look, I totally hear you. Restricting your phone use to when you’re in the bathroom — and out of sight of your supervisors and managers — definitely isn’t a bad idea. But let me give you a scenario and you tell me if this sounds like you:
You decide you need to go to the bathroom so you take your phone with you. While in the stall, you check your personal email and Facebook notifications. You start scrolling through Facebook, promising yourself that you’ll only be on your phone for two more minutes (even though you’re already done doing your business on the toilet). You get a push notification that brings you to Twitter, so you scroll through that for a few minutes. Maybe an Instagram DM pops up so you check that. You hear a group of people enter the bathroom which reminds you you should get back to work. By the time you get back to your desk, you’ve been gone for at least 15 minutes.
[ Read On : 6 Ways to Beat the Procrastination Game ]
How familiar does that sound? And I’ll be fully transparent here! I literally do this all the time, which is why I know leaving my phone at my desk is one of the best ways to help me stop wasting work time. After all, I’m much more likely to put my phone away after three minutes if I’m at my desk (where my managers can see me) than if I’m in the bathroom where they can’t!
Ultimately, it comes down to how often you go to the bathroom throughout the day, and how much time you spend on your phone while you’re there. I’m cursed with a small bladder so you can bet I run back and forth all day! So I try to leave my phone in my purse when I run to the bathroom so that I can stop wasting work time and get more things done throughout the day.
Block Facebook and other social media from your work computer.
Let’s be honest, you shouldn’t be on social media on your work computer anyways. The last thing you want is to leave your Facebook up when your employer has the right to search your computer. But we all know that everyone does it anyways. And that’s okay! But if we’re seriously trying to stop wasting work time, social media in the office has to go.
Have you ever tried to hide the fact that you were on social media when your boss walks up behind you? Then we all know it doesn’t go well. Save yourself the embarrassment and the time and stay off those websites!
If blocking social media on your computer just doesn’t work for you, then at least log out of all of them. Like, right now. And then when it asks you to log back in, uncheck the “Remember Me” button and congratulations! You’ve now put a roadblock in place that will help you stop wasting work time. You can still access your social media if you really need to, but it won’t be as readily available!
Set up a “Do Not Disturb” window for your work day on your phone.
When Apple came out with the “Do Not Disturb” feature for the iPhone I basically flipped. I’m in love with it! And honestly, you’ll be hard pressed to find me without Do Not Disturb turned on for the majority of the day.
Push notifications and badges — especially badges — on my phone drive me nuts! I’ve fully accepted that I’ve fallen for my social media accounts’ ploys to get me into their apps more often because I hate. Seeing. Them. I check my notifications compulsively as a result. Which means — ding ding ding! — I often find it really hard to stop wasting work time on my phone.
[ Read On : How to Beat the Mid-Day Burnout ]
Do Not Disturb doesn’t turn off these push notifications and badges, but it’ll prevent them from causing my home screen to light up or my phone to buzz when I have the feature turned on. This is a godsend for me! It’ll also send phone calls from numbers not on my favorites list straight to voicemail. No more accidentally answering telemarketer calls at work!
Do Not Disturb has a handy feature where you can schedule it to automatically turn off and on during certain time periods. If you want to seriously stop wasting work time, I’d recommend setting it up!Setting up a Do Not Disturb timer on your phone will help you stop wasting work time by keeping you present in your work and the moment without fear of missing important calls or texts! Click To Tweet
Queue up your playlist before you start working.
Raise your hand if you listen to your music, or podcasts, or something while you work! I honestly find that I’m more productive and less distracted when I do. Well, until it’s time to add more songs or episodes to my queue. Then I get really distracted.
In case you haven’t noticed, most of my tips revolve around keeping you off your phone unless you absolutely need to check it. And that’s because you’re so much more likely to get distracted when you’re looking at it absentmindedly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened my phone to queue up some more podcasts, forgotten what I needed to do, and spent 10 minutes scrolling through Facebook. Not ideal when I’m trying to stop wasting work time!
Lately I’ve decided to queue up all of my podcasts as they come out so that I have a huge, long, master playlist of everything I need to listen to. I spend maybe five minutes each morning adding to the list and shuffling the order, and then I’m good to go for the rest of the day! I have so many podcasts on my playlists that I very rarely run out of things to listen to in a day, so this keeps me from constantly opening my phone to figure out what I want to listen to next.
What’s the best advice you could give to help someone stop wasting work time? Let me know in the comments below!