Three Important Tips for Wasting Lots of Time at Work - Time Management

Much is written about how to handle the constant bombardment of email.  And we have gathered a couple articles here to help in getting some relief.   For a straight assessment the New York Times published a study revealing how those who check their email less are less stressed; but for a tongue-in-cheek look at the situation here is an article from a Teamwork & Leadership blog 

Do you have a need to waste lots of time at work?  Most of us are on the lookout for a tip or two from time to time, right?  Here are three important tips, to aid you in being very inefficient, less productive and to help you become a real important time wasting liability to your organization.

1. Classically condition yourself to check e-mail. I call it “Pavlov’s E-mail Syndrome.” But this is a good syndrome because it will help you waste more time than you could imagine. Pavlov was a scientist who conducted an experiment where he would present a restrained dog a bowl of food. The dog would immediately begin to salivate in anticipation of eating. He would then pair the food with the ringing of a bell. Eventually he would only ring the bell and the dog would continue to salivate.

It isn’t very hard to develop the syndrome, that’s why this is my number one tip. All you have to do is make sure you set every bell and notification you possibly can in your e-mail application to tell you an e-mail has arrived and then check it immediately. As a result, you will soon begin to salivate yourself every time an e-mail arrives. As soon as you do you will start a journey that is sure to disrupt any flow you might have been in and guarantee you won’t get back on tasks for another 10 or 20 minutes or more.

2. You must check, or or any web page of your choice first thing in the morning. Think about it, this has the potential to really help you waste lots of time. Since the morning is typically a time with fewer distractions, since people are just getting settled for the day, this one activity absolutely ensures you take advantage of this quiet time by wasting lots of time reading story after story. Then later on when things get busy, you can get lots of interruptions that waste more time. This tip really does maximize your time wasting activities. Trust me, I know.

3. Put off the most important and difficult things first. Nobody likes doing important and difficult things any way. And by putting them off, you will find your day is filled with things that don’t mean a whole lot. Besides, if you put them off they might disappear, right? And the biggest benefit is you will begin to lose more and more energy throughout the day, feel like you accomplished nothing and become more and more grumpy. Each of these will propel you to a huge lack of motivation, guaranteeing more time wasted!

Gaining control over email is a constant, nagging struggle for most office workers. Instead of checking it continuously throughout the day from multiple devices, schedule specific times to process what’s in your inbox. You are most efficient when you answer messages in bulk at your computer. You can more easily access files and paste links quickly via a desktop or laptop. When you take your messages head on like this, you are more focused and waste no time transitioning from one activity to another. Process your email three times a day in 30-minute increments, once in the morning, once mid-day, and once before leaving. Use a timer and when it beeps, close your email program. Outside these designated times, don’t access your inbox — from any device. Consider this an email vacation


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