It feels like fifteen minutes since you last checked the clock, so why has it only been five? The pressure is off at work and you’re just waiting for the day to end. Despite having the entire internet to kill time with at your disposal, the number one source of entertainment or torture for bored office workers is clock-watching.
Take a minute (pun 100 percent intended) to count the amount of clocks you have access to at your desk. At mine, I count four within my radius. One on my phone, one on my desktop, one on my laptop and one over my left shoulder. The temptation is unbearable.
We all know the situation: dusting off our mental maths to put how much time we have left at work in relative terms. We tell ourselves “So in three hours, it’ll only be two more hours until it’s ‘one more hour until I can go home’”. It’s damn lunacy.
Clock-watching doesn’t help you, your employer or your sanity so let’s all just stop doing it. Here’s five ways how.
1. Realise you’re a crazy person
Cognitive dissonance is the state of inconsistent thoughts relating to behavioural decisions. Basically, it’s when you do things you know won’t help you but you feel compelled to do anyway. Lifehack reports that AOL used to ban watches in their offices to stop employees clock-watching. This isn’t the solution but it does highlight how silly it makes clock-watching when you think about it.
2. Think big
Every-time you think about looking at the clock, write down something you wanted to achieve when you took your job in the first place. Get your priorities straight and you’ll find something more productive to spend your time doing.
3. Get away from your desk
Schedule a long-overdue meeting or just swing by someone else’s workspace for a ten-minute break. Getting away from your sedentary perch will pass the time a lot quicker than sitting and broiling in your own boredom.
4. Turn productivity into a game
Give yourself tight deadlines to do little things. You might not have a huge amount of project work to do but by allowing yourself manageable deadlines to check emails and make calls, you’ll break the day down into little chunks.
5. Avoid the mid-afternoon lull
Clock-watching is most likely to happen when you’re feeling tired, full or fed-up. For most people, this happens between 2.00 to 3.00 pm. When this period comes for you, get off your bum and stay energised. The time will fly by!
6. Bury your head in the sand
Every office has that one spot where you can go to shut yourself away from the world. Bring a laptop and do your work away from the temptations of clock faces. Just remember to leave the office before it gets dark out!