Dealing with Time-Wasters at Work

How do you deal with time-wasters at work? It can be frustrating when someone is taking up your time and preventing you from getting things done, but what can you do about it? In this article, we’ll share some tips for dealing with time-wasters and offer examples of how you can start a conversation with one, to resolve the issue.


First, let’s look at some ways to deal with time-wasters.


1. Set boundaries

When you’re dealing with someone who is a time-waster, it’s important to set boundaries. Let them know what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of time wasting. This will help to prevent them from taking up too much of your time.


2. Be assertive

If someone is wasting your time, be assertive and let them know. Let them know that you’re busy and don’t have time to waste. This prevents you from getting discouraged and disallows them from taking up your time.


3. Avoid them

If someone is a chronic time-waster, it may be best to avoid them altogether. You have other things to do, by using avoidance as a tactic; you can keep yourself on track, professionally


4. Set a limit

When you’re dealing with a time-waster, it’s important to set a limit on how much time you’re willing to give them. Offering them a bit of time ensures that they don’t take up more of your time than you’re willing to give.


5. Time management

Time management of your schedule is key when you’re dealing with time-wasters. If you have a set schedule, stick to it. Of course, it will help you stay on track and not let the time-waster take up more of your time than necessary, but it will also send a message that you’re not going to be pushed around.


Conversation Starters


The best way to deal with a time waster at work is to talk to them directly about it. By having a conversation, you can set boundaries and assertively tell them that their behavior is not acceptable, but it’s not always an easy conversation to begin. Here are some examples to begin that discussion.


  1. “I noticed that you tend to take up a lot of my time. I’m wondering if we can talk about how to better manage our time so that it’s not an issue.”

Example number one is effective because it directly addresses the problem and opens up a conversation about how to fix it.


  1. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to talk right now. I’m busy with other things.”

Number two is assertive and sets a boundary by letting the person know that you’re not going to waste your time talking to them.


  1. “I don’t appreciate being interrupted when I’m trying to work. Please respect my time and space.”

Sometimes you have to be frank with people who push your limits. This idea lets them know that their behavior is not acceptable and that you expect them to respect your time.


  1. “Can we talk about this later? I’m in the middle of something.”

Number four is a kind way out. This is a way to defuse the situation and buy yourself some time. It also shows that you’re not going to be rushed into a discussion.


  1. “I don’t have time for this right now.”

Number five is to the point and shows that you’re not going to waste your time on this conversation.


These are just a few examples, but the most important thing is, to be honest with yourself about what you need and want from the conversation. Be assertive, set boundaries, and don’t let the time-waster take up more of your valuable time than necessary.


Looking for hiring help?

Pascoe Workforce Solutions places engineering, accounting, legal, administrative and manufacturing professionals. Our recruiters can help you find the job that is right for you. Learn more about the advantages of job hunting through Pascoe today!