24 Intriguing Time Management Statistics

Time management is critical for career and company success. However, many people still struggle to stay productive. Read on for 24 intriguing time management statistics that shine a light on the situation.

1. 82% of People Don’t Use a Formal Time Management System

Overall, 82% of people don’t use a complete time management system, relying on simple options like lists or using no system at all. Just 18% of people use a structured time management system.

[Source: Development Academy]

2. 49% of People Have Never Conducted a Time Audit

Time audits allow people to get visibility into how they spend their time, creating opportunities to boost efficiency. However, 49% of people have never actually conducted a time audit.

[Source: Development Academy]

3. 87% of Professionals Believe That Taking Breaks Increases Productivity

Even though taking breaks can mean spending less time working, that doesn’t mean workers don’t feel they are worthwhile. Overall, 87% of professionals think that breaks make them more productive, even if it means less time spent on work.

[Source: Korn Ferry]

4. On Average, Workers Spend Just 10 Minutes on a Task Before Being Interrupted

On average, workers get only 10 minutes and 30 seconds with a task before they experience an interruption.

[Source: Inc.]

5. 40.6% of Professionals Don’t Get More Than 30 Minutes of Uninterrupted Work Time Due to Email

Getting more than 30 straight minutes of work time without an email-related interruption is a rarity. Overall, 40.6% of professionals don’t get more than 30 minutes of distraction-free time.

[Source: Society for Human Resource Management]

6. Self-Interruptions Are Responsible for 44% of All Interruptions

While most people focus on external interruptions, self-interruptions can be just as problematic. Overall, 44% of all interruptions are self-initiated. This can include attempts to multitask, having an idea pop up that needs capturing, a distracting thought, shifting to a task the person realized they forgot, or simply the desire to move onto a different activity.

[Source: Inc.]

7. Some Professionals Interrupt Themselves Just 20 Seconds After Beginning a High-Focus Task

While outside interruptions are often the main concern, self-distraction is also part of the equation. After beginning a high-focus task, some professionals interrupt themselves in as little as 20 seconds.

[Source: Rethinking Productivity in Software Engineering]

8. 6% of Workers Spend Over 10 Hours Per Week in Unproductive Meetings or Calls

Overall, 6% of employees commit more than 10 hours per week to meetings or calls they feel are unproductive. Another 15% spend 5-10 hours in unproductive meetings weekly, while 34% waste 2-5 hours.

[Source: CNBC]

9. On Average, Workers Spend Over 2 Hours Per Day Procrastinating

Procrastination can come in many forms. It may involve messaging others on a smartphone, gossiping with colleagues, or simply daydreaming. When taken together, the average worker spends 2 hours and 11 minutes procrastinating each workday.

[Source: Human Resources Online]

10. 60% of Professionals Can’t Get Through a Workday Without Checking Social Media

Many people use social media to stay connected with loved ones and as a source of entertainment. However, these platforms can become major time-sinks, especially if they interrupt the workday. Overall, 60% of people admit that getting through the workday without checking their social media account isn’t possible.

[Source: BBC]

11. 97% of Men Believe That Cyberloafing at Work Is Acceptable

Cyberloafing involves accessing the company internet during work hours for personal reasons – usually entertainment-based – often while pretending to work. Overall, 97% of male professionals find the practice acceptable and believe it has a positive impact on them, while 85% of women felt the same way.

[Source: BBC]

12. 67% of Workers Say Excessive Meetings Harm Productivity

Meetings are often a part of professional workplaces. However, that doesn’t mean time in those meetings is always well spent. Overall, 67% of workers say that excessive meetings prevent them from being their best at work.

[Source: CNBC]

13. Only 11% of Employees Say Their Meetings Are Always Productive

While one would hope that any meeting a worker attended provided them with value, that’s far from the case. Only 11% of employees feel that meetings are always productive.

[Source: CNBC]

14. 35% of Workers Attend Meetings They’re Invited to Even If They Don’t Think They’ll be Productive

In many cases, simply being invited to a meeting is enough to compel attendance. 35% of workers admit they’ll attend a meeting if they’re invited, even if they don’t believe it’s a good use of their time.

[Source: CNBC]

15. Professionals Spend 28% of Their Workday on Email

Email is often a critical form of communication in the business world. On average, professionals spend around 28% of their day (about 2.6 hours) reading or replying to emails, receiving around 120 messages each day.

[Source: Harvard Business Review]

16. Professionals Check Their Email Every Six Minutes on Average

On average, professionals check their email inbox once every six minutes. However, a startling 16.3% check it every minute, and another 19.2% review their inbox every one to three minutes.

[Source: Society for Human Resource Management]

17. After Checking Email, It Takes 23 Minutes to Get Back on Track

While email may be a necessary part of life, it can also be a massive distraction. If a person pauses their work task to check their email, it takes them 23 minutes to refocus on the activity and get functionally back on track.

At times, the delay is related to shifting your concentration into a new area. In others, it’s the result of having to review past work to determine where a person was in the overall process.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

18. Multitasking Reduces Productivity by About 40%

Many professionals believe they are excellent multitaskers. However, attempting to multitask can reduce productivity by 40%.

Often, this is because a person isn’t genuinely multitasking. Instead, they are quickly shifting between activities. Essentially, they are single-tasking in short bursts and, since it can take time to refocus on the activity at hand, aren’t as effective as they would be if they focused on just one responsibility.

[Source: The Daily Mail]

19. 72% of Workers State Their Productivity Wouldn’t be Affected by Employee Monitoring Software

Some companies deploy employee monitoring software in hopes of boost productivity. However, 72% of workers say that their productivity wouldn’t change if such a solution was put in place. Plus, 15% state that adding monitoring software would make them less productive. Only 13% believe their productivity would increase.

[Source: Clutch]

20. Only 10% of Employees Would Trust Their Employer More If Employee Monitoring Software Were Implemented

The use of employee monitoring software doesn’t typically breed trust. Overall, just 10% of workers would trust their employer more if such a solution was implemented in their workplace. For others, their trust level is either unchanged or would fall.

[Source: Clutch]

21. Only 19% of Employers Track Salaried Workers’ Time

Many employers focus solely on tracking the hours worked for hourly employees. A mere 19% of employers actually track the time of their salaried workers.

[Source: WorkPuls]

22. Over Half of Professionals Say They Are Mostly Unproductive During the Workday

When it comes to working productively, most professionals would agree that they aren’t completely productive for their full shift. However, 54% of professionals say that they are only focused on productive work tasks for less than 70% of their workday, leaving 30% of their day as unproductive.

20% of workers feel that about 50% of their workday involves productive work tasks. For 3% of professionals, less than half of their workday involves productive work tasks.

[Source: Korn Ferry]

23. Companies Spend an Average of 16 Days Per Year Searching for Paper Documents

Many companies still rely heavily on paper documents. However, when they aren’t properly organized, they can be a genuine timewaster. On average, companies spend 16 days every year tracking down paper documents, time that could likely be better spent elsewhere.

[Source: DocuSign]

24. Around Two-Thirds of Employees Experience Burnout at Work

Burnout often results in poor engagement and productivity. Overall, 23% of professionals say they feel burned out very often or always while working. Another 44% say they have those feelings at least sometimes.

[Source: Gallup]

Bottom Line

Ultimately, the time management statistics above are all quite intriguing. They highlight common issues that many people encounter and also include a few surprises. In the end, they help paint a clearer picture about why many people feel unproductive.

About the Author

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Catherine Reed

Catherine Reed is a writer and researcher with experience writing about a wide variety of topics including personal finance, technology, and staffing.