6 common time sinks that are
keeping you from being fully productive
Zeta | Jan 19, 2018
Time sinks

It’s the big truth of the workplace that nobody wants to talk about. We waste a lot of time at the office. There are too many distractions, too much interference. There’s a phrase that’s come into use for all that. It’s called a time sink. Nobody knows for certain when ‘time sink’ was coined, but we know it shares a kinship with ‘heat sink’. A heat sink dissipates heat from a CPU inside a computer, and a time sink dissipates time inside a workplace.

It’s as simple as this — just because people are at work, doesn’t mean they’re 100% productive. A study we picked up on says the average employee spends 2 hours a day recovering from time sinks, 80% of which can potentially be avoided. So how can we get out of this cycle? The first step to eliminating these sinks is to know more about them. So we’ve listed out the most common culprits:

Email
The usual suspect. Email can be an enormous drain on productivity. Checking email and responding to it as they come in are the worst possible ways to manage your working day. Instead you should set aside a few minutes, 2 or 3 times a day, for that. For more real-time communication, you could use an online collaboration app, which comes with project management features as well. There are many good ones out there. We like Flock.

Reimbursements
It’s no secret that filling up forms for claiming reimbursements and tax exemptions the archaic way is like a black hole that sucks in any time that comes near it. We’re all in range of its force pull unless digital claims are the way to go. Eliminate this time sink with Zeta Tax Benefits.

Checking email and responding to it as they come in are the worst possible ways to manage your working day

Social media and clickbait: 
The average daily usage of social media worldwide is about 135 minutes a day per user and the stat is climbing every year. A majority of this time is spent during office hours. Time to call on some self discipline, or start developing some.

Lines in the cafeteria: 
Nobody likes waiting. It’s even more so when they’re hungry. In medium and big companies, the problem of cafeteria lines is so acute that lunch, which should be a pleasurable experience, becomes an ordeal and a time sink instead. We can eliminate delays and make lunchtime a pleasure again using a digital corporate cafeteria solution, like Zeta Express. Meal breaks ought to be time outs, not time sinks.

Multitasking
Are you used to doing too many things at the same time? It’s not as productive as you may think, even if you’re a pro juggler. We recommend focusing on one task at a time and seeing it through to completion.

Poor equipment
Using slow and outdated equipment is like fighting a losing battle. How can you get any work done if you’re waiting forever for your computer to boot up or if the slow, overworked office printer spits out a print precious minutes after you’ve given the command? There’s no workaround. The office has to update its equipment or they continue to be terrible time sinks.

So, which do you think are your biggest distractions at work? What do you do to escape these and other time sinks? 

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