There are many times during my work day that I find myself needing a quick break from thinking. Usually, I remedy this problem by making a quick stop by some of my favorite, mindless websites: Facebook, Food Network, Pinterest, etc. The problem begins when a quick trip turns into an hour long journey into a never-ending online world of pictures, posts, Tweets and general madness. My time spent on these sites is generally completely wasted, yet I can’t help but love every second I spend. In the interest of helping out anyone who strives to be nothing but productive at work, I’d like to share the top three biggest time sucks*:
3. Twitter – This is 2012, but for those who don’t know, Twitter is a social media site that allows users to post updates in 140 characters or less. It can be used as a means of chatting with friends, keeping up with news, reading interesting articles, or learning of the latest celebrity gossip. I initially joined Twitter as a way to get more involved in the public relations world. In the beginning, I only followed relevant news sites and PR pros. As the years progressed, I also began following friends and celebrities. Twitter can be an amazing source of information and an extremely useful tool for almost every industry, but it’s important to keep in mind how easy it is to get caught up in all the news – even if every story is only 140 characters – so if you use Twitter for work, use it wisely.
2. StumbleUpon – StumbleUpon has been around for years, but it’s a relatively new find for me. This site allows you to specify your interests and will help you find new web pages, videos, photos and more on the web that you probably would’ve never found on your own. It’s incredibly interesting to see where StumbleUpon will take you and so addicting to see what website is next. The possibilities are literally endless here and I guarantee that if you are not careful, you won’t know where your day went!
1. Pinterest – I’ve mentioned Pinterest in several posts before, but I think it deserves special mention now, as Pinterest has accounted for majority of my non-productive work hours. A fairly new social community, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you share all the great things you find on the web. Pinterest is a social site – you can browse other people’s pinboards and make comments or follow those boards or pins that you like. I’ve yet to even really explore all of these options and I’m already spending way too much time on this site during the day. The biggest plus to Pinterest is that it’s a wonderful site for finding inspiration and feeling creative. Unfortunately, you need an invitation to join, but you can get one of those from any friend of yours that has an account. Although…not seeking out an invitation might be a good thing because it will keep you from wasting (or enjoying) hours on wonderful pictures/recipes/crafts.
Honorable Mention: Facebook used to be the biggest time suck ever for me personally. However, I’ve noticed that as my friends and I found jobs and spend most of our days working, we don’t post as much. If other’s aren’t posting a lot during the day, it makes it a bit difficult to waste time on Facebook. Come evenings and weekends, though, all bets are off. I still haven’t figured out how I waste so much time “stalking” other people’s profile pages…it’s unreal. The new Timeline feature has added a lot more interest for me and I’m worried to see if it affects the amount of time I spent on Facebook in a negative way. I’m honestly hoping that I’ve begun to phase Facebook out, but time will only tell where Facebook stands.
Do you know of other sites that contribute to wasted time at work? I’d love to hear what they are.
*This Top 3 is based on no research or data. It’s purely my own opinions as decided by the shear amount of time I spend on each of the sites on a daily basis.