5 Workplace 'Time-Wasters': Worth The Time? - InformationWeek

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2/11/2015
02:06 PM
Joe Stanganelli
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5 Workplace 'Time-Wasters': Worth The Time?

Studies show that activities long considered by managers to be time-wasters at work may actually boost your productivity. How many of these are part of your workday?
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Playing Games
Offering numerous fun and competitive platforms -- including board games, billiards, chess tables, ping-pong, and even swimming pools -- startup incubators and Silicon Valley titans alike have long recognized the value of games in the workplace. In addition to giving employees more reasons to stay in the office, games are a great way for co-workers to get together and collaborate while keeping their minds sharp. 
Computer games and gaming apps, from Starcraft to Bejeweled, are similarly appreciated in progressive workplaces. Gaming apps can even be adapted to enhance productivity, security, and collaboration by using gamification techniques. 
 (Image source: Tony Alter via Creative Commons license.)

Offering numerous fun and competitive platforms -- including board games, billiards, chess tables, ping-pong, and even swimming pools -- startup incubators and Silicon Valley titans alike have long recognized the value of games in the workplace. In addition to giving employees more reasons to stay in the office, games are a great way for co-workers to get together and collaborate while keeping their minds sharp.

Computer games and gaming apps, from Starcraft to Bejeweled, are similarly appreciated in progressive workplaces. Gaming apps can even be adapted to enhance productivity, security, and collaboration by using gamification techniques.

(Image source: Tony Alter via Creative Commons license.)

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
2/17/2015 | 10:10:44 AM
Re: Know your self
I've also found that getting away from a screen boosts productivity. After reading for awhile, a break is much needed! You're right, people just aren't meant to sit for that long.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
2/11/2015 | 5:43:29 PM
Re: Time for productivity
I really like the points about daydreaming and website browsing - I've gotten some great ideas just by clicking through different webpages and seeing all the information that's out there. Internet aside, I find that walking around always generates ideas. Sometimes you just need to get away from your desk and let your mind wander.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2015 | 5:34:03 PM
Time for productivity

It's a great list for micromanaging bosses who don't appreciate the benefits of non-work activity. I especially love the daydreaming, I read a study that said day dreamers have higher IQs and use day dreaming to stimulate bored brains! So teachers encourage day dreamers in your next class.

Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2015 | 3:52:19 PM
Re: Breaks
@Joe I'm always happy to have sources on my side, as teens seem to assume parent have no idea what they're talking about. I will, however, admit that the problem with my plan is that she now seems to just not officially set herself up to for a block of time for study and so exempts herself from turning off her phone.
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2015 | 3:42:12 PM
Re: Breaks
@Ariella: Yes, the research indicates that while "regular" browsing can make people more energized and productive, things like checking email and other electronic correspondences (such as text messaging) are actually draining because, inter alia, you have less control over the content you are choosing to see/expose yourself to in the context of electronic correspondences than you do with browsing other sites.

So feel free to show your teen that study.  ;)

(On the other hand, if I had high school to do over again, I'd spend WAY less time on homework and WAY more time socializing and getting into trouble...)
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2015 | 3:29:53 PM
Breaks
I recently looked up how frequent breaks should be because my teen seems to think she should only have to study or do homework in 15 minute segments. I was advising her to disable her phone for 45 minute stretches when she needs to study. When it's on, she gets distracted by every text, which she insists on answering right away. Then, of course, the other party would respond, and the texts turn into a 5 minute break that she doesn't even register as such.
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