If you are moaning at the piling work on your desk and it just seems that you can never go home at the strike of 6pm, you might like to ask yourself if you are being productive at work.

It is common to find time wasted away without being aware that where all the time has gone. I did some detective work and below are the top things people do while the minutes are sneaking away.


Checking Emails

Although checking and replying to emails is a part of your job, overly checking can cause you to be distracted with your tasks on hand.

Try to scheduled the checks on your email to once in the morning before you start off any tasks, once after lunch and once before you knock off work. I do find that replying my emails while having lunch is productive for time but not so much for health. Rather have informal meetings over lunch if you are squeezed for time.

Don’t worry – if it is an urgent matter, the person will call you or walk up to you. At least, the email will be marked as “Urgent”.


Checking Your Facebook

Unless you are working in Facebook, checking your social media accounts during work hours is really a time-waster. I only check my social media account whenever I have time to waste it away or when I need a short break (5 minutes) from my laptop.

Obsessively checking your social media will just hinder your productivity at work and break your train of thoughts. Check it when you are having your toilet breaks or when you are queuing up to buy lunch. Or best leaving it when you put your feet up on the coffee table in the comfort of your home.

Sure beat doing overtime at work, right?

Sending Emails Across The Room

Unless you require a black and white of instructions, don’t use email as the main form of communication with your colleagues especially when they are just sitting across the room from you.

Nothing is more irritating than to be in the cc email where you know a problem can be resolved between the two colleagues whom you’re sitting in between them. Get your lazy butt off the chair and talk to the recipient face-to-face.

You can always send a follow-up email to summarize after you have spoken to him.


Chitchats At All Times

While I encourage networking in the workplace (they’re really important), such activities shouldn’t hinder your productivity. Instead, network during your break times and away from your desk, to break away the habit of co-workers stopping over your desk for a non-work related chat.

Best time for a chat is always before and after lunch.

Focusing On Wrong Priorities

It is important to prioritize your tasks based on both deadlines and difficulty. While it is easy to choose to tackle the easy tasks, please be mindful not to wait until the last few days just to work through nights in order to meet the deadline. I always love to complete the toughest task to get it out of my system so I can cruise along with confidence with those itsy bitsy items.

So there you have it, the top 5 things that are stopping you from going home on time so you can get ample rest and enjoy personal time. Don’t waste your life away in the office, cut down on unnecessary distractions and make your work life a happier and healthier one today.

Do you have more tips to share? Welcome all to share your thoughts in the comment below.


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45 replies on “Being Productive @ Work: What Are The 5 Time Wasting Things You Do At Your Desk

  1. I work at home, so this introduces a whole new set of distractions! I also check email, of course, but that’s sometimes necessary. Oftentimes I decide that it’s time to dust my desk or other nearby furniture, water the plants, go downstairs to check the mailbox…you get the picture! Although it’s necessary to get up and stretch from time to time, I think that I should probably schedule most of these activities instead of just doing them when I’m bored with my actual work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha. I work at home too. Maybe I should come up with another article on that. I totally get distracted all the time by my cats, my daughter, my husband… everyone seems to want something from me all the time.

      Liked by 2 people

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