5 Common Time Wasters and How to Avoid Them

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices

The tendency to waste time while on the job is something that many people share. There are plenty of reasons why people choose to veer off their tasks: boredom, restlessness, lack of mental or physical stimulation, laziness, the list goes on. When you’re working on menial online work like admin jobs and other repetitive tasks, it’s even more tempting to look for something to break the monotony.

But wasting your time on the job can lead to bad habits, poor results, and a reputation as an unreliable virtual employee. Obviously, these can result in poorer job prospects for you and a stunted career. To avoid this, you have to figure out if you’re guilty of wasting time on the job.

5 Common Time Wasters

  • Social Networks

Some of the biggest and most popular time wasters are social networks. Research has shown that 77% of users with a Facebook account access the social network at work, and for some of them, that could mean 2 hours of work time wasted on the site each day. After all, when you’re scrolling through various photos and videos on social networks, it’s easy to lose track of time.

  • Surfing the Net

The internet is rife with distractions. From websites like BuzzFeed and Bored Panda that promise endless scrolling through quizzes, listicles, and other mindless content to online shopping sites with millions of products to go through, it’s possible to spend hours each day getting lost in these content.

  • Pointless Meetings

Since it’s so easy to have a Skype call or conference to catch up these days, more and more virtual workers are calling for meetings to sort out a few simple things that could have easily been resolved through chat or email. Even when the meeting is about something important, having no clear agenda and schedule sometimes makes it go overtime or be concluded without actually resolving anything.


  • Looking for Files, Conversations, or Information

Being disorganized with your work files can lead to hours of looking through various folders trying to find out what you need. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself scrolling through hundreds of lines of chat conversations because you didn’t take note of an important thing earlier on. Although these time wasters only eat up a few minutes at a time, they still add up.

  • Chatting Constantly

It’s perfectly okay to indulge in a friendly chat with your fellow VA or a client every now and then. What’s not okay is to chat with them for hours each day about non-important things. This will put a huge dent in your productivity.

Avoiding Time Wasters

The easiest, most effective way to cut out time wasters is to restrict or completely remove your access to them. There are now several productivity apps that allow you to restrict access to certain websites or apps during particular times in the day.

Admittedly, this course of action might not be feasible for everybody. If you’re a social media VA, you obviously need access to Facebook, Instagram, and so on. And you obviously can’t cut yourself off from the internet to avoid surfing the net for random stuff. In these cases, it’s best to train yourself to withdraw slowly. Make a conscious effort to stop when you find yourself wasting time. Eventually, your habits will change for the better.

There are so many more time wasters around waiting to lure a VA in. Be sure that you’re always on the lookout so you can avoid being sucked into one of them. Remember, avoiding time wasters isn’t just better for your client, it will do your career a whole lot of good too.


Next: How To Set Up A Productive Workstation At Home


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