Five Online Time Wasters That Drown Work Productivity

Unless your employer bans e-mail and social media sites at the office, all employees take a few minutes out of their day to check e-mail or surf the net. And like most people, I see nothing wrong with taking a five-minute break to clear your head and keep up with personal obligations. After all, we spend most of our waking hours at the beck and call of our employers.

But distractions are like a contagious disease, they can spread through the minutes of the clock like wildfire and before you know it, it's 4PM and you've spent a good portion of the day beating level 5 of Zuma's Revenge. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it, so acknowledging that procrastination is destroying your work productivity is a good start. Another way to beat the productivity game is to be aware of the most common online distractions, so that you can avoid them.

1. Online Games

Anyone who's ever fired up online solitaire or that free version of Tetris knows how detrimental these gaming sites are to the workday. Pop Cap, one of the more popular online game hubs on the internet, has a whole host of games to choose from, which could easily consume an eight hour work day. In fact, while "researching" this fact, I just lost a good 45 minutes to Bubble Shooter - proof positive that online gaming is a huge time suck.

2. Facebook

If anyone knows how addicting spying on old high school peers can be, it's me. There's nothing more deliciously satisfying than hunting up your old school bully just to find out she's gained 30 pounds and has adult acne. But there's a time and a place for vengeance, and unfortunately the office is not it.

3. Blogging

Sure it's fun, and it's a great way to anonymously blow off a little work-related steam. But blogging on company time is a major no no, since it's not only a time waste, but a termination worthy offense.

4. Instant Messaging

This one goes for both inter-office messaging systems and personal chat systems. Even though IM'ing is a huge time saver when it takes the place of getting up and actually walking to someone's office to ask something, it also opens the door to multiple petty distractions through the entire day. Conversely, personal IM'ing can eat up hours at a time when you're catching up with friends.

5. Wikipedia

This one was hard to list, as there really aren't a lot of bad things to say about Wikipedia. In fact, it's awesome. But for the sake of online time wasters, they're a top contender. A quick search to see what year Teen Wolf came out to settle that debate with your co-worker, and four pages later you're brushing up on the history of the Lasallian Brothers. It's like the "Six Degrees" game on steroids. You will never stop clicking links.

Now that you've got a good base of websites to stay off of during the workday, you can plan out your entire evenings and weekends around pizza delivery and the internet - only this time without getting fired.

Next:13 Ways to Ward Off Evil Time Suck >>

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