The 6 Best Tools to Overcome Common Workplace Time Wasters

Just a few occasional blips throughout your workday are inevitable. However, if these distractions turn into constant habits, they’ll harm the standard of your work and productiveness.

Whereas some productiveness killers are obvious, others disguise themselves as vital duties. In the event you’re not cautious, these time wasters can simply sneak into your day and waste hours. Recognizing these actions and utilizing acceptable instruments to counteract them may help you regain management over your time.

1. Spike to Scale back Electronic mail Overload


Screenshot of Spike's desktop app showing chat feature

Studying and responding to emails is a kind of work actions that may appear innocuous, however it could actually shortly eat up your time if not managed accurately. Electronic mail overload might be attributable to a number of elements, resembling an overflowing inbox, a scarcity of group, or not utilizing acceptable inside communication instruments. If left unchecked, electronic mail overload also can turn into a major supply of stress and nervousness.

Enter Spike, a user-friendly but strong collaborative electronic mail software that may make it easier to get a deal with in your overflowing inbox and increase your productiveness. For starters, Spike permits you to unify all of your electronic mail accounts in a single place, so you possibly can simply handle all of your messages from the identical dashboard. It additionally gives a number of options that will help you manage and prioritize your emails, resembling Precedence Inbox, which separates essential messages from non-priority emails, permitting you to focus in your most essential communication.

As well as, you’ve gotten full management over your electronic mail notifications. You may also leverage Spike’s snooze and reminder options to set time apart for studying and responding to emails (batch your electronic mail exercise), moderately than letting them waste the productive hours of your workday.

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Obtain: Spike for Android | iOS | Windows | macOS (Free, premium accounts accessible)

A round-up of the commonest office time-wasters wouldn’t be full with out mentioning social media. The attract of checking Fb, Twitter, or TikTok might be laborious to withstand, however these actions can shortly eat into your workday with out you realizing how a lot time you’ve misplaced.

In the event you’re struggling to remain centered at work, Unpluq is a software that may make it easier to overcome distracting apps by making it more durable so that you can use them. All you should do is add the app you want to block and choose your distraction barrier, for instance, scanning a QR code, shaking your cellphone for five seconds, or tapping 7 buttons. You may also customise the problem ranges of those boundaries.


Unpluq will block all notifications from the app and stop you from opening it till the set time is up, otherwise you consciously carry out the distraction barrier. The purpose is that will help you break the behavior of mindlessly scrolling by your social media feeds and as an alternative focus in your work.

Obtain: Unpluq for Android (Free, provides in-purchases)

3. IFTTT to Automate Repetitive Duties

Like your electronic mail exercise, repetitive duties can turn into the wolves in sheep’s clothes of your workday, sneaking in and devouring your time with out you realizing it. Repeating the identical duties generally is a important supply of wasted time and tedium within the office, particularly in case you can automate these processes to make use of your time and expertise on high-value duties.

IFTTT is a platform that permits you to join completely different apps and units to create “recipes” that automate duties. You don’t have to be a programmer to make use of IFTTT; all you want is a primary understanding of making a recipe.

For instance, you need to use it to automatically post daily reminders to your Slack channel or add completed Asana tasks to a Google spreadsheet, moderately than having to do it manually. You should utilize one of many a number of recipes already created or create your personal primarily based in your particular wants.

This software successfully automates mundane, repetitive duties that may in any other case sap your time and power.

Obtain: IFTTT for Android | iOS (Free, premium model accessible)

4. Yac to Minimize Down Time Spent in Conferences


Screenshot of Yac showing voice message feature

Conferences might be a vital a part of the office, however they’ll additionally shortly turn into a waste of time in case you don’t handle them nicely. Distant employees are notably affected by pointless conferences, as they’ve turn into a typical manner for groups to remain within the loop.

One of many important points with conferences, notably in distant workplaces with groups scattered all around the globe, is that they require all of the members to be on-line and accessible concurrently, which might be difficult to realize attributable to time zone variations. What’s extra, synchronous communication isn’t all the time the most efficient strategy to work, as it could actually result in distractions and interruptions.

You should utilize asynchronous communication instruments like Yac to cut back your time spent in conferences. Yac is a chat app that permits you to report and shares voice messages along with your workforce.

Do you wish to present suggestions on a design or clarify a course of? As a substitute of beginning one more Zoom assembly, you possibly can report a fast Yac message and leverage its screen-sharing capabilities to assist illustrate your level.

Sending a voice message is quicker than typing, and its asynchronous nature signifies that folks can take heed to it at their comfort, serving to you keep away from pointless conferences and saving time.

Obtain: Yac for Android | iOS | Windows | macOS (Free, premium model accessible)

5. RecueTime to Keep away from Multitasking and Detect Different Time Wasters


Screenshot of RescueTime's activity page

Multitasking is usually touted as a productiveness booster, however the research tells a special story. Multitasking can truly result in decreased productiveness attributable to cognitive overload. Furthermore, multitasking generally is a important supply of distractions, main you to lose focus and spend extra time on duties that you just don’t have to.

RecueTime is a time-tracking app that may make it easier to observe the way you spend your time and block your largest distractions that will help you grasp single-tasking. It runs within the background of your units to trace the apps and web sites you utilize essentially the most, in addition to how lengthy you spend on every of them.

This data may help you establish which duties are taking on essentially the most time and which actions are inflicting you to lose focus. You may then use this data to detect and get rid of different time-wasters. RescueTime additionally has a Focus Work function that empowers you to focus on your work for a set interval.

Obtain: RecueTime for Android | iOS | Windows | macOS (Free trial, premium model accessible)

6. ANC Headset to Minimize Down on Background Noise


Sony headphones, a mouse and keyboard

Discovering a quiet house to focus in your work in at present’s open-plan workplaces might be difficult. Distant employees may also battle with noise from pets, youngsters, or different folks round. Background noise generally is a important distraction that stops you from stepping into the zone.

ANC (energetic noise-canceling) headphones might be an effective way to cut back background noise and enhance your focus. By canceling out the sound out of your environment, ANC headphones create a noise-free workspace, permitting you to remain centered on the duty at hand.

Regain Management of Your Time to Enhance Your Productiveness

Placing your self in a robust place that permits you to get extra achieved in much less time is the important thing to success in any discipline. To regain management of your time and enhance your productiveness, you should be proactive in recognizing frequent office time wasters and discovering instruments and methods to get rid of them. The instruments we’ve talked about on this article may help you just do that.


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