How To Put An End To 5 Most Annoying Ways Co-workers Waste Your Time

Co-workers can be awesome. But, they can also be major time sucks. So, in no specific order, here are the biggest offenders and how to stop them in their tracks.

1)  Asking You Questions (That Have Already Been Answered)
We’ve all had those co-workers who seem to treat us like we’re quite literally the employee handbook. Always asking, 'Do we have this holiday off? Is this week payday, or is it next week? How many sick days do we get? Am I allowed to use the color printer for personal use?'

While you’re honoured to be thought of as the all-knowing expert on anything and everything company-related, the fact that you need to constantly answer questions that have already been addressed elsewhere can quickly become annoying not to mention wasting most of your time.

How to Put an End to It
The next time your colleague approaches you with a question that’s already been answered, kindly refer him to where he can find that for himself. Hopefully before too long, he’ll get the hint.

2) Failing to Adequately Prepare
You and your co worker have a meeting planned so that you can talk over the project you’re working on together. After giving out your well-prepared notes, you realized that your colleague has done absolutely nothing to get ready for this conversation.

You’re left doing most of the talking (work), while he/she gives you blank stares, nods along.

How to Put an End to It
When a co-worker is a massive waste of your time, rather than pointing fingers. Politely, say
“I’m excited that we’re working on this together. But, maybe we should regroup after we both have had some time to thoroughly prepare.”

3) Dropping by Your Desk Repeatedly
Do you have a colleague that frequently stopped by your desk unannounced to talk about unnecessary things like weather, or her upcoming birthday, or the staff meeting that morning, or to just ask a seemingly innocent, “What are you doing?”

No matter how you mock the person, he/she won't feel discourage . Rather they’d stay parked there, leaning against the very cubicle wall that was designed to keep distractions out rambling on and on.

How to Put an End to It
You have two options: Be super obvious (or oblivious depending on how you look at it), and pop your headphones in when the offender approaches, or straight-up say that you’re slammed with work and unfortunately can’t talk right now.

4) Sending You Endless Emails
Your inbox often makes you feel like you’re stuck in the dream land, you can’t look away for more than two seconds without a new message arriving. Sure, a few of them are important while some are unnecessary notes from your colleagues discussing the project you’re all working on.

Your team members continue to send short, one-line responses back and forth, even though it’d be so much easier for them to talk things through via instant message or in person. But, no. You’re stuck dealing with a conversation that has somehow turned into a heated debate about who makes the better project.

How to Put an End to It
It’s time to train your co-workers to send you less email. If you’re stuck in that never-ending chain, gently suggest that they take that conversation elsewhere. And, moving forward, respond with definitive statements, rather than more questions so that you can keep the conversations as brief as possible.

5) Inviting You to Unnecessary Meetings
When your colleague sent you a calendar invite for an upcoming meeting, you simply assumed it was relevant and important. So when that set time rolls around, you head into the conference room and take a seat.

The conversation gets rolling, without having idea of what is being discussed not to talk of knowing the people in the conference room. It quickly occur to you that this is a meeting you definitely don’t need to be at.

How to Put an End to It
You need to speak up. If not, your co-workers will likely continue to invite you to things you don’t really need to be at.
Determine whether or not you really need to be at every meeting you are invited to by asking yourself and your colleagues a few key questions, such as, “Is there an agenda?” and “Am I prepared to contribute to this discussion in a meaningful way?”


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