According to the survey, 31% of employees waste 30 minutes daily, and another 31% percent waste a whole hour. The other 38% spend even more staggering amounts of time off-task: between two and five or more hours a day! Using cell phones, conversations with coworkers, browsing the internet, and snack breaks are among the top time-sucking culprits.
Now, you’re probably thinking about whether you waste time (maybe you’re even reading this at work right now). Chances are, you do. Those little breaks and interruptions add up. If you’re ready to stop dawdling and get more done in less time, check out our top 7 productivity tips below:
1. Practice deep work
Cal Newport is an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University and the author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Newport’s influential book, published in 2016, has inspired workers all over the world to adopt the concept of “deep work.”
2. Design your time
Don’t just manage your time, design your time. Google for Work director Thomas Davies is a big advocate for gaining a big-picture perspective of your work. In an article for Fast Company, Davies talks about how easy it is to get caught up in the small things — emails, meetings, and more. According to him, this is a recipe for burnout.
To get a better hold on his time, Davies organizes his tasks into four main quadrants: people development, business operations, transactional tasks, and representative tasks. Of course, quadrants will look different for each person depending on their work duties and priorities.
3. Do the most important things first
Dealing with the most important or most urgent projects first ensures you get to the work that really matters. Starting with easier, smaller projects and busywork can feel productive, but distracts you from your larger goals and might leave you with too little time to devote to your priorities.
4. Aggregate distractions
Danny Meyer, the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group who has been dubbed “one of America’s most productive CEOs,” receives an email from his assistant every day after work. In addition to his schedule for the next day, the email includes a list of questions collected throughout the day for Meyer to address. He doesn’t let himself get distracted by questions and asides during the day so that he can be productive at work and then give those questions his full attention at the end of the day.
5. Organize your thoughts
We’ve talked about organizing your week and organizing your day, but what about organizing your thoughts? Well, here at Crossover we use WorkFlowy. WorkFlowy lets you create detailed bulleted lists — start with a big picture list, then zoom into different bullet points to see smaller and more detailed steps.