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While deliberately wasting time at work is actually very rare in most professional settings, despite what senior management might think, there are many small and subtle ways that both you and your team might be losing time unnecessarily which can add up to be real project-killers. The biggest timewasters can be difficult to spot as they often fly under the radar and can be indistinguishable from standard office practice.

If you’re concerned that your project may be suffering time being wasted at work, here are some of the biggest timewasters to look out for:

Invasive noises

It may not be anything intentional but the fact is that invasive noises distract minds from whatever tasks they are supposed to be concentrating on. These can be anything from loud co-workers having a chat or phone conversations being put on speaker in an open office. While other problems such as construction work outside or street noise can only really be helped by sound-proofed windows, inside the office making team members aware of how their actions impact those around them and ultimately cost your project time can be an effective way of reducing unnecessary aural distractions.

Online distractions

The omnipresence of social media is one of the defining conversation points of our era and its effect on professional life as an addictive distraction is a major issue in most workplaces. Social media is not the only culprit however, with online shopping, news alerts, fantasy leagues and online dating all making up part of the “Oh, I’ll just have a look for a minute” attitude which can break someone’s concentration for over 20 minutes. Everyone in your office is an adult and you shouldn’t have to get strict and treat them like schoolkids but informing them of the facts and how much time it is costing your project can form part of a significant appeal to their professional nature.

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Poor email practices

Emails are one of the biggest causes of wasting time at work. They can take up to 2.5 hours out of everyone’s working day so are an obvious place to start when looking at improving your team’s time efficiency. Ways to improve working practices surrounding emails include setting blocks of time for answering emails and trying to cut down on internal emails by asking your team to distinguish between emails that must be sent and those which could be better kept for face-to-face discussions.

Not utilizing the best software

The advance of technology and introduction of bots and AI into the world of project management has opened up huge opportunities for automating previously time heavy tasks, such as creating and issuing reports and updating project schedules and timelines. This means that one of the biggest timewasters in your project might actually be not availing of the best available technology that could be saving you time.

If that seems like something which is overly affecting your usage of time it may be time to start doing something about it. Clarizen’s class-leading online project management software allows you to observe and monitor resource utilization and efficiency. The huge range of data breakdowns available mean that you will always know how your team should be using its time and where it should be doing better.