What's wasting your time at work? For three years running, OfficeTime.net has conducted a survey of professionals, mostly freelancers and small business owners, to find out. Results from this year's "Top Time Killers" survey of more than 1,300 people unsurprisingly sees email at the very top of the list, closely followed by meetings.
Email has topped the list for the three years the survey has has been conducted. But meetings are increasingly being seen as productivity-killers. too.
The top 10 time-wasters, which were ranked based on the percentage of people spending between one and four hours per day on each activity, are:
- Email (44 per cent)
- Meetings (42 per cent)
- Surfing the Internet (22 per cent)
- Travel time/commuting (17 per cent)
- Procrastination (10 per cent)
- Non-business related conversations (7 per cent)
- Watching TV or Internet videos (7 per cent)
- Break time (7 per cent)
- Social networking for business (6 per cent)
- Dealing with computer problems (6 per cent)
Exactly why the top two productivity killers are both communication channels wasn't addressed in the survey results, although it's a weighty topic for anyone to unpack. Some point to communication channels being misused, or in the case of meetings, poorly managed. Others see email as a technology that has not adapted very well to keep pace with changing times and other advances in productivity.
Whatever the case, there are a number of ways to cut down on unwanted email and hold more productive meetings.
OfficeTime's flagship product, a productivity app by the same name, allows small business professionals to track their time across different tasks while they work to help them calculate and charge for billable hours.