People drowning in non-useful tasks, Reclaim Your Time survey finds

The UK's productivity shortfall could be related to day-to-day misuse of time. Download our ebook to find out more

There’s few would deny experiencing that sensation of drowning in email from time to time. What might surprise, is the extent and widespread nature of the problem, as uncovered by HR magazine and IBM’s Reclaim Your Time survey.

Despite nearly half ranking emails as one of the least productive tasks they carry out, 84% of respondents to the survey, the jumping off point for a special Reclaim Your Time ebook supported by IBM, said that dealing with emails takes up a lot or a fair amount of their week,

Perhaps even more shockingly, 34% of people check their email as soon as they wake up every day without fail, while 38% check this after work at home every day without fail. Clearly we’re all feeling the pressure.

And email certainly isn’t the only drain on our time. The survey also uncovered a pronounced mismatch between what people know contributes most usefully to their organisation’s productivity, and what they actually end up spend most of their time on.

Though 68% said delivering KPIs related to their job was important to their company’s overall productivity, only 17% said they spent a lot of time on this. Similarly, though 51% said managing people contributes strongly to their company’s overall productivity/success, only 9% spend a lot of time on this.

Clearly, then, there’s a problem. And one that could well be contributing on a micro level, day in, day out, to the UK’s lagging productivity levels overall.

For more Reclaim Your Time survey findings, and for top tips from experts including 50th anniversary professor of organizational psychology and health at Manchester Business School’s Cary Cooper, take a few moments to download our ebook. It might just save you some precious time…