Why You’re Wasting Too Much Time at Work

Joshua A. Luna
May 20, 2022
Why You’re Wasting Too Much Time at Work
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Navigating your work schedule is nothing short of a nightmare.

You’re running into back-to-back meetings, helping colleagues with simple tasks, and spending time navigating conversations with your manager.

All before actually doing the job you’re paid to do.

According to an Asana survey of 10,600 global workers, 33% of their workday is spent using the skills related to their job.

I have yet to meet someone who actively enjoys wasting time on non-related tasks, so what are our options?

Instead of working longer hours to play catch up or plan for the next day, consider the following:

  • Shorten your meetings - Where you can, shorten meetings you’re involved in. Ask if the meetings you’re invited to need to be as long, and opt for 45-minute and 20-minute meetings instead of the traditional 60 and 30-minute timeframes.
  • Encourage strategic planning - The more clear we are with the big picture, the easier it becomes to work on the right things. Give yourself and others time in their days for deliberate focus time to plan for long-term initiatives.
  • Advocate for alignment - Busy work is created when employees and managers don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing. Reinforce goals and priorities, and ask to stay focused on the big picture. If it’s not moving the needle - scrap it.

Start incorporating some of these concepts into your day-to-day, and you’ll start to see vast improvements in your workweek.

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P.S.

Have you ever had an employer tell you that your workplace is like a family?

This analogy frustrates me to no end. I've been seeing it pop up more as companies begin to roll out layoffs and hiring freezes.

I wrote a piece for Harvard Business review that goes over this exact topic and why we should stop using the word "family" within a work context. Let me know your thoughts.