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This article was first published 7 years ago  » Getahead » What drains your time and energy at work?

What drains your time and energy at work?

By Shweta Dash
September 09, 2016 09:02 IST
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Prioritise your tasks. Don't waste your day writing and replying to long e-mails.

Despite our best efforts to be productive, it is very easy to get derailed in the course of an ordinary day.

We often have unproductive days that leave us mysteriously tired by the end of it.

To have more productive days, we need to identify the simple activities that drain our time and energy without us even realising it.

Although these may vary from person to person, here is a list of some of the most common time and energy drainers.

Time drainers

Time management is no cakewalk.

While a lot of what you do during your day is part of your job, there are still those that can be controlled to a certain extent.

These are some activities that drain your time at work:


We do need to write innumerable e-mails to communicate regularly with our internal teams, clients, managers, financers and so on.

However, being available continuously on mails takes a toll on our productivity.

Dedicate particular time-slots to respond to all e-mails that require more time and research.

Automate your e-mails to your customers and clients through e-mail marketing to save yourself the time and effort.

Personal chats

Avoid personal chats during your working hours unless it is urgent or unavoidable.

Personal chats might be a great way to catch up with your friends and family, but this is best avoided during working hours to save time.

Turn off notifications for all personal chats except from your closest people who might actually need you.

You could also set default messages for personal calls that convey your unavailability during working hours.

In fact, it is better to turn off the data connection on your personal phone if you do not need it for official purposes.


Most meetings continue endlessly without having a clear agenda. Such meetings are not beneficial for the organisation.

While you cannot possibly avoid meetings altogether, you can ensure that you have effective meetings.

Adhere to these basic rules on how to avoid dysfunctional meetings.

Energy Drainers

"The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not," Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr write in their book The Power of Full Engagement.

Here are some examples of energy drainers:

Cluttered space

A cluttered workspace is the reflection of a cluttered mind.

Often, we tend to work in spaces that are not just messy but also unproductive. You end up wasting time to find the right things at the right time.

Also, a cluttered space stifles your creativity.

Clean up your desk with these simple productivity hacks, and avoid wasting your energy over such menial things.

Negative co-workers

Negative people grate at you, irritate you, drag you down, get you into a negative cycle and create conflict and anger in your life.

Although you cannot cut them off your life easily, you can minimise interactions with them.

Understand that teamwork is necessary for any business to grow.

Avoid unnecessary conflicts to create and ensure a good work culture and healthy relations at the job.

Too many commitments

When you have too much on your platter, it is difficult for you to balance your assignments.

In such a case, you tend to lose focus and interest. This, as a result, drains your energy.

Prioritise your tasks according to their relevance and importance.

Break them down into smaller action points, and start dealing with issues one at a time. This will help you achieve better results without feeling fatigued.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Arko Datta/Reuters

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Shweta Dash