Time is precious at the office. When your workload seems to pile up, even a lunch break seems to be out of the question. So what happens when you’re fretting about getting your work done, but a coworkers keeping lingering by, and stalling you from finishing your work? Clearly, you may be bothered. Dealing with a coworker who’s wasting your time can keep you from completing your work and hinder your work performance. If you’re dealing with something similar at work, here are a few ways that can help you deal with a coworker who’s wasting your time:

The One Who Sends You Endless Emails

It can be quite overwhelming when you arrive to work in the morning only to find your inbox overflowing with unread emails. You can’t look away for a few minutes without a receiving a new email. A few of them may be from your team, your manager, or your boss. But the other half may be from a coworker who’s constantly updating you (or your team) about the project you’re all working on, or even having a conversation with another coworker. So you’re stuck dealing with a never-ending email thread with unnecessary back-and-forth’s that may have easily been concluded with a single email.

Here’s what you should do: 

If you’re dealing with something similar, ask your coworker to gently send you less emails, or take the conversation elsewhere. In order to keep conversations as concise as possible, ask them to respond with definitive statements rather than more questions. As result, you can enjoy getting less emails –and your inbox will probably thank you.

The One Who Drops By Your Desk All The Time

You can be neck deep in a complicated task that your manager assigned for you the day before – only to find a coworker constantly lingering by your desk. This coworker might vent or complain about an issue he or she is facing with the manager, or their lack of ability to get something done. So you’re stuck hearing about their issues, when you clearly have a lot to get done. You don’t want to be rude, but how can you politely ask them to not waste your time?

Here’s what you should do:

Your really have two options, if you spot them lingering by, show them that you’re clearly busy. Pop in your headphones to emphasize that you do not wish to be disturbed. If that doesn’t work, then you have no other choice but to tell them that you’re swamped with work and you unfortunately can’t afford to chat right now, but maybe you can have the discussion after work, or during your lunch break.

The One Who Asks You Unnecessary Questions

“So how many sick days do we get?” “Do we have this holiday off?” “Is it payday?” Do you have a coworker who literally treats you like you’re the employee handbook? It might be flattering to be treated as a know-it-all expert, but when you’re dealing with endless, unnecessary questions the whole entire time, it can be quite exasperating. When you’re constantly answering questions that have been addressed and answered somewhere else, it eats up a major chunk of your time, and may hinder your work performance.

Here’s what you should do:

The next time your coworker approaches you with a handful of questions, refer them to where they can get the answers themselves. Hopefully by then, they’ll get the hint that you can afford to waste any extra time answering such questions.

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