Top 10 productivity time killers

Carolyn Shannon is my guest blogger today.  Her business Venting Creatively helps people to find creative ways to shine a light on their life from a different view.  She publishes a magazine called Women of Worth magazine.

Being productive leaves time for the things that are important to you

Top 10 Productivity Time Killers

Every day countless hours are wasted away due to non-productive activities. Time is money, so when distractions and procrastination set in profitability will decline. A survey conducted by has revealed 10 of the biggest time killers. The main offenders that reduce our productivity are:

1. Emails

2. Surfing the net

3. Watching TV

4. Procrastination

5. Meetings

6. Non-business conversations

7. Commuting & travel time

8. Social networking

9. Cell Phones & texting

10. Dealing with red tape

Types of Time Wasting

There are many factors that lead to procrastination. There are a few broad categories that most time wasting falls into.

1. Indecision.

Perfectionists will often struggle with indecision. Some things may never become perfect, and putting too much focus on perfection will mean too much time spent on one job. Splitting the work into smaller tasks is one way to deal with it more effectively.

2. Avoidance.

Fear of being judged can be the main cause of procrastination. It could be fear of failure or even success. Neither of these is something to be ashamed of. Success should be celebrated, and failure is the best way of learning. Think less about what others may think and more about trying your best at the task at hand.

3. Thrill Seeking.

This is when procrastination is justified because the worker likes the thrill of an approaching deadline. If this is the case it is best to move deadlines closer and set personal targets. This still gets you the thrill of working against the clock, while reducing procrastination.

How to Put an End to Time Killers

The first step to battling time killers is to understand and appreciate the amount of time that is being wasted. What is the value of all that lost time? Time wasters will directly affect your career advancement opportunities and reduce the amount of income you could have received. Tracking where your time is spent will allow for efficient time management. Don’t just rely on your memory to remember what you did during the day. Use a system so that you have a written record that can be looked over and analyzed. This could be as simple as creating a timetable on a piece of paper, or utilizing a computer program or app to record your daily activities. Cutting down on time killers is a good start, but there are other strategies that should be used to effectively manage your time:

1. Define your purpose.

You need to know exactly what you want when starting a task. Without a definite purpose, you will lose focus.

2. Smart goal setting.

Choose realistic and specific goals and targets. It should be measurable so you know when it has been completed.

3. Plan on a regular basis.

As factors change, your plan should be adjusted to reflect the reality of the situation.

To truly beat time killers you need to work on your mindset & stick to your plan for the long term.

Which type of Time Waster Are You?

1. Thrill Seekers

They feel they can procrastinate, as they enjoy the feeling of working against a deadline

Tip: constantly set and adjust deadlines so that you still get the adrenaline rush but are using your time more effectively than procrastinating

2. Avoiders

They prefer to procrastinate as a means to avoid being judged. Whether it is a success or a failure

Tip: Success is a good thing and nothing to be ashamed of. Failure is a way to learn and improve. Focus on doing the best job you can and not on what others think.

3. Indecisive people

They are often perfectionists but procrastinate to shift responsibility from themselves

Tip: Not everything has to be perfect so try to take small risks and use your intuition. Mistakes may mean you learn something new. Try to split the task up into more manageable parts.

Need help setting new patterns and mindsets this year contact me.  I can work with you virtually to help you become more productive and have time for the things that are important to you. 

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

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  1. Sabrina Quairoli on May 1, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Great post! I am more of an avoider and indecisive person. I avoid new things, and as a result, I am indecisive about the next steps. To help me combat procrastination, I find drawing things out by doing a mind dump helps me see the highlights of what I need to do, and it motivates me to see what the first step needs to be to start the project.

    • Julie Stobbe on May 3, 2023 at 9:29 am

      A mind dump is a good way to help see the path and not get lost in the forest of small and unimportant items. Breaking a task into steps and problem solving to see how to complete it is a good way to stop being an avoider. Usually, we avoid because there is something we don’t know how to do. Once you get help the next steps can come easier until you find a step with another problem to get help with.

  2. Linda Samuels on May 1, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Time is precious. I appreciate the strategies to help us use it more wisely. The top ten list of time wasters is helpful to be aware of. It’s all about balance. We can’t be productive 24/7 and need time to unwind and decompress. But of the ‘work’ hours we do have, removing some of these time wasters from the equation can positively affect our lives.

    • Julie Stobbe on May 3, 2023 at 9:24 am

      Thank you for differentiating between work hours where we should avoid wasting time and leisure time where we can choose the best way to relax.

  3. Seana Turner on May 1, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Surfing and scrolling social media definitely are productivity killers for me. Sometimes I hop on because I feel I don’t really have enough time to start anything else, but that really isn’t true. If I have something ready to go, that I can do in small snippets, then I’ll do that instead.

    Good reminder!

    • Julie Stobbe on May 3, 2023 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for sharing your story. I am sure many people can relate to it. I am not a social media scroller except at bedtime when I don’t want to have a TV on then I scroll for a bit.

  4. Julie Bestry on May 2, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    My time killers come in healthy or useful ways (scrolling through social media when I’m in line, waiting for an doctor’s appointment and knowing I won’t be able to focus on anything substantial) and in avoidant ways, usually when I should be going to bed, but I’ve been avoiding bedtime since toddlerhood. (If I can keep my brain busy with entertainment, I won’t focus on the things that will uselessly upset me.)

    Thus, I agree that all of the items in the list at the top CAN be time wasters, but (and perhaps this is because I was a television executive), I feel that television is only a time waster if one is mindlessly doing it. Otherwise, it’s like eating, talking to someone, or participating in almost any activity. If you do it without intention, it’s mindless; if you do it for the joy (Ted Lasso! Mrs. Maisel! The Diplomat!) then it’s life-giving!

    I’m curious at the avoiders being those who are avoiding judgment. While that’s absolutely true, perhaps we’re ignoring everyone who just avoids things they have no desire to do, ever, like cleaning (or dealing with red tape). It’s ineffective for life management, but it’s understandable that we avoid things that do not give us joy (separate from the thrill seekers who are actively seeking something to counteract monotony). There’s a lot to think about here! Thanks!

    • Julie Stobbe on May 3, 2023 at 9:12 am

      Thank you for all the comments. So tasks like social media can be used to help you stay calm in difficult situations. Being mindful of why you choose to do something is ideal so you know you are not procrastinating. Too often fool themselves into thinking they are taking a break that lasts for too long or one thing is important and not doing the thing that is more important.

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