3 ways to combat cyberloafing at work Mar27

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3 ways to combat cyberloafing at work

cyberloafingCyberloafing. Procrasta-webbing. Planning your wedding.  Call it what you will.

A recent study coming out of Kansas State University claims that 60 to 80% of an employee’s time on the internet is spent doing anything but work.

Who’s to blame? Some say management. Others are blaming daylight savings time. And some are simply calling it the new “coffee break.”

We say, whatever is causing this mass midday slack off, only you can identify whether or not it’s a problem. A few clues to start with? Answer these questions with a simple yes or no:

  • Do you have more than 10 tabs open on your browser?
  • Do you live in fear of someone seeing your search history?
  • Are you acutely aware of your monitor positioning at all times?
  • Is it post-10am and your Facebook has seen more action than Outlook?

Alright, if your hand is now firmly in the air, you may indeed have a problem. Here are our top 3 remedies for combatting cyberloafing before it gets you in trouble:

Identify your triggers 

Spend some time getting in tune with your cyberloafing habits. When do you loaf? Is it first thing in the morning or is it right before you need to tackle that extra sensitive to-do list item? Your leisure-browsing may be less about downtime and more about avoidance.  By anticipating your weakest moments, you may be able to stay the course by working through temptation.

Develop a new habit

Maybe your cyberloafing is starting to feel a little like nail biting? You don’t even know it’s happening. Sometimes the best way to break a habit is to replace a habit. When you feel yourself about to head to the dark-side (i.e. Facebook), why not get up from your desk for a drink of water, empty your recycling bin or head for a bathroom break. By the time you get back, you may have had one of those brief-but-inspiring hallway conversations – and been pulled right back on track.

Schedule it in

Dr. Pavlov’s genius never fails. Rewards are important. If cyberloafing is something you enjoy (and who doesn’t), why not add it to your daily schedule? Either set a defined time period when you’re free to roam the web or – even better – gift yourself blocks of me-time for completing more work-related tasks.

And remember, at the end of the day, if you’re more interested in the HuffPost than fill-in-your-company-name, you may just be in the wrong job. When you love what you do, where you do it and who you do it with, the breaking news is what you’re doing – not what someone else has done.