10 Ways To Avoid Time-Sucks At Work

by Lisa Bodell for [email protected]

Any idea how much of your workday is spent on time-sucks? Harvard Business Review estimates that American organizations spend 15% of their time in meetings. McKinsey reports that 28% is eaten up by email, and Salesforce suggests that admin tasks and reports comprise another 20%When your time is dominated by these activities, how can you do work that actually matters, like creative problem-solving and innovation?

If you’re at Merck Canada, you create a simplification team and a process for attacking complexities. If you work for Google, you get rid of red tape through Bureaucracy Busting meetings. If you’re at HBO, you eliminate more than 100 stupid rules. But even if your company isn’t actively trying to simplify things, you can personally take a stand against time-sucks. To start doing more valuable work and less busywork, experiment with the tactics below.

Send NNTR emails. For email topics that are FYI and don’t require a response, type NNTR (No Need To Reply) in the subject line. By utilizing this tactic, one business unit at Merck reduced email volume within its group by 20%.

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