- If you smoke, it's easy to waste 20 minutes each time you smoke a cigarette. Think about the time it takes to get ready for a smoke, gather your companions, wait for the elevator, go outside, chat, wait for your friends to finish, walk back and get back to work. If you smoke just 3 cigarettes in a day you have easily wasted an hour.
- If you read the paper at your desk, maybe when you get to the office or at "break", you might be wasting a half hour of productive time each day.
- If you surf the Internet for some personal stuff, read online articles and stay on top of news you can easily waste an hour a day.
- If you are texting your friends while doing your job, you will easily waste time.
- If you get up and go for coffee/water every hour or so, stop and chit chat for a couple of minutes, maybe stop at the washroom, then that could be 10 minutes every hour, or more than an hour every day!
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We live in a society where we get quite comfortable in our surroundings, and there is little that we deny ourselves. If we feel like something to eat, we eat, whether we are truly hungry or not. If we want to buy ourselves some treats, clothes, jewelry, electronics or whatever, whether we need it or not, whether it is a special occasion or not, we go ahead and buy it.
There really isn't anything wrong with that, we just need to be aware of the consequences because there are consequences to EVERYTHING! If we over indulge in food we may put on weight, if we buy too much "stuff" we might get ourselves into debt, etc.
Applying some self-discipline to these situations might make us act a little differently, but again, that is personal choice.
It is very easy to let our personal habits take over and that can hurt your productivity, your chances for a contract extension, and even your professional reputation! Think about this: if you bill for an 8 hour day, and you "waste" 1 one of those hours each day over the course of a 30 day project, you have just charged for 30 hours where you weren't actually working! Your client will notice and start adding up how much they think you've "ripped them off".
Sure, one hour seems a little extreme, but it's easy to do without even noticing. Here are some examples: