Email gobbles productivity time - survey

2016-06-29 12:54 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24
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email, technology, communication


Cape Town – Email is the monster that gobbles productivity time, a global survey has found.

Professionals spend the most time on reading and responding to messages, a Time Killers survey by OfficeTime has found.

At least 45% of respondents indicated that they spent too much time reading and responding to email.

“Email is an easy time-suck and one you might not realise,” said Stephen Dodd, founder of

“If email is a problem in your life, get aggressive with it. Unsubscribe from the fluff. Send short but polite replies. Ask to be cc’d only when needed. Block out time to respond to emails rather than being always available,” Dodd added.

“Track how much time you spend on email and other activities before you begin tackling the problem, then compare your time again afterward and enjoy the difference," he said.


Social media platforms Twitter and Facebook ranked second at 43% and news coverage came in fourth (34%).

Avoiding productive activity gobbled 42% of productivity time, the survey found. Employees spent time procrastinating tasks essential to their jobs.

“Other activities that are among the top five time killers are internet surfing (33%), dealing with computer or tech problems (24%), and social networking for personal (non-business) reasons (22%),” said OfficeTime.

Facebook’s news feed which curates content that interests users and Twitter’s “best tweets” were highlighted as particularly effective in “sucking” people in.

“Social media and news feeds are designed to suck you in by feeding you related news stories that you will likely enjoy based on your interests,” said Dodd.

“These are often tools we use for procrastination - putting off the work that needs to be done but we dread doing. Think about that one thing you’re putting off and tell yourself you just have to start it. That can often break down your resistance and let you complete the task."

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