6 scary facts about time wasting (and how to fix them)

Can you improve on time wasting habits at work and in your personal life? Are you doing tasks that could be streamlined or automated?

Thinking about how you are wasting your time can help you free it up so you can spend it doing something more enjoyable, meaningful or inspiring.

What does time wasting mean?

The Collins English Dictionary says that time wasting is the act of spending time doing something that is unnecessary and does not produce any benefit. Many of us can think of days where we’ve wasted time at work due to unnecessary administrative tasks, emails and other people. If you want to fix your time wasting, firstly you need to identify how you are wasting it.

6 scary facts about time wasting

  • 1. The average company spends 16 days per year searching for paper documents.

Do you often find yourself trying to find paper documents? You’re not alone. Finding and managing critical documents is a time waster for many employees. Digitising processes and using the right document storage system can simplify the process. Going paperless can save time too.

  • 2. The average person spends 35 minutes commuting each day.

With today’s technology, we have the freedom to work when and where we need to. Travelling to face to face meetings or to get a document signed is additional time on top. Can you find ways to cut down on commuting like working from home one day a week? Perhaps you can try working remotely with your clients and customers.

  • 3. Senior managers spend at least 23 hours in meetings every week.

According to MIT, the number of meetings attended by the average executive doubled between the 1960s and the 1980s. To avoid wasting time in meetings, make sure the meeting is essential before you accept the calendar invite and follow an agenda.

  • 4. The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes.

Checking emails or instant messaging services every time you get a notification can be a real drain on time. Allocate specific times of the day to check your email. Consider checking each morning, during middle of the day and at the end of the day. It will reduce the time you spend in your inbox.

  • 5. Over 40% of employees spend at least 25% of their week on data entry.

Repetitive data entry has a reputation as one of the most tedious and manual administrative tasks known to workers. In today’s world, many manual tasks can be removed with automated workflows, and streamlined to avoid repetition.

  • 6. Every hour of TV watching cuts 22 minutes off your lifespan.

Sometimes the easiest thing to do when we’re away from work is to grab the TV remote and switch on Netflix. But it’s not always the most efficient way of spending your free time. Try making time for other things such as meditation, charity work, exercise or cooking. You might find it’s the best way to unwind after a busy day of meetings.

Here are some more examples of time well spent.

6 scary facts about time wasting by DocuSign


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Here are a few more timely quotes you may enjoy.

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” - Charles Darwin

“Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Forever is composed of nows.”  - Emily Dickinson

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