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Start-up Story: Ecigarette Direct

Wasting time at work: How do we do it?

It’s inevitable that we have at least a few minutes at work where there isn’t a great deal to get done immediately. Sometimes, the temptation is to spend that time doing something you think might help to speed the day up, whether it involves doing a little cleaning of your desk or desktop, spending more time on menial or repetitive tasks or chatting away to colleagues.

Trying to pass the time when 5pm seems like an absolute age away isn’t easy, but a survey by Ecigarette Direct offered some insight into what we actually do to while away those spare hours at work. In the study, the most striking finding was that 83% said they spent time on tidying their desk instead of doing actual work – that’s five in six people!

Not talking shop

Another finding from the survey was that nearly two-thirds of people had wasted a little time by talking about subjects which have nothing to do with work amongst colleagues. This isn’t so surprising, but 79% did say that they organised their email inbox to help get a little closer to the end of the day without having a single thing to do.

18% said that they took extra smoking breaks, something which many a business owner will frown upon. No matter how time is wasted, it can be infuriating as it’s something seen as more valuable than anything else to a company. In a blog post about running a small business, James Caan states how valuable a commodity time really is.

People who are new to entrepreneurship would do well to maximise their time. This could involve getting as much done as possible at the start of the working week when energy levels are at their highest. Another good way to maximise time is to get more tedious tasks out of the way each day and to get other things done early when spare time becomes apparent.

Written by Matt Johnson. For more information visit

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