Workday time wasters
The Internet in the workplace is both a curse and a blessing. While it has increased productivity and made it easier to communicate more quickly with co-workers, customers and clients, it has also drastically reduced productivity due to the unlimited number of addictive Web sites.
Internet or not, there are always going to be distractions keeping you from work but sometimes short breaks can refresh you and increase productivity. Here are some productive and sometimes no-so-productive ways to waste time at work.
Now water cooler conversations in common areas have been replaced with instant messages and e-mails making it easier to waste time at work. At the same time however, e-mail and instant message programs have made people more efficient by creating instant responses.
RSS Feed Readers
Blogs and Web sites that are frequently updated are a great way to take a little break and catch up on current events. Instead of wasting time going from site to site individually, set up an RSS feed reader like Google Reader, Bloglines or Thunderbird. These readers keep your favorite sites all in one place. Remember to limit your viewing to once or twice a day.
It's become cliché that if you're playing computer solitaire, you're just wasting valuable time at work. The good news is that there is some value to solitaire and other games like sudoku and online chess. Games like these exercise your brain and can actually improve productivity in the long run by clearing your mind.
Websites like Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database (IMDB), CNN.com and other informational sites can be very useful in some offices for fact checking, research or general information. They can also be an incredible way to waste time since the articles often lead to similar articles which lead to more articles, causing huge amounts of time lost.
Keep track of the amount of time you waste at work online. You'd be surprised how all those little breaks can add up quickly. Schedule specific times throughout the day to check your personal e-mail or read your favorite blog and limit the amount of time you spend there. If this doesn't help try tools such as LeechBlock or Stealth Kiwi, which are designed to help you limit your time on time wasting websites.
What other things do you do to waste time at work?