“Time management is really about decision management,” says Stephen Dodd, founder of OfficeTime.net. “Some people are better able to successfully choose what they do and how much time they spend on it. Some are more apt to be distracted by time killers that get in the way of a productive work day.”
OfficeTime recently conducted several surveys of business owners and professionals over the past several months to determine what activities are mostly likely to get between these professionals and achieving a productive workday.
In the company’s “Biggest Time Killers” survey, survey participants (90% of whom are business owners, freelancers or work in professional “white collar” positions) were asked to name their top-three time killers. Of all the ways people manage to squander their time each day, “Email” was named as the biggest time killer by 47% of respondents.
Other Top 5 Time Killers included Procrastination (42%), Social Networking (36%), Meetings (34%), and Surfing the Internet (30%). Rounding out the Top 10 were non business-related conversations (24%), dealing with computer / technical issues (23%), “bureaucracy / red tape” (19%), travel time / commuting (14%), and playing computer games (10%).
How much time is being wasted on these “time killers”?
- 40% of respondents said they spend an average of 1-3 hours per day dealing with email
- 64% spend up to 1 hour on social networking sites each day
- 59% spend up to 1 hour each day surfing the Internet
- 49% spend up to 1 hour each day in meetings
- 34% spend 30 minutes to 1 hour “procrastinating”
At the end of each day, many people look back and wonder where all the time went. Many have found that by tracking their time each day, they not only answer that question, but can make better decisions about how they spend their time to become more efficient and productive.
Why Track Time?
In its survey of business owners and professionals who track their time, OfficeTime.net discovered that 46% of respondents indicate they track their time because it helps them to become more productive, while 42% said it helps them to provide their clients with better invoicing while improving their own revenue. For those tracking time to improve productivity, 42% aimed to identify how their time is being used while 31% indicated they wanted to know where their time was being wasted.
“This survey reflects what we’ve known from our own customers – time is worth tracking,” says Dodd. “By accurately tracking time each day, business owners and professionals not only can bill for more time and increase their revenues, but they can simply work more efficiently by making better use of their time.”