10 Affirmations to Stop Wasting Time at Work + Tips to Stay Focused

Stop wasting time at work with these tips.

The ability to concentrate and stop wasting time is a true skill. The distractions of the world are winning. It’s too easy to play a game, scroll social media or fiddle around with an app.

Ignoring distractions is a skill that takes time to develop. However, there are actions you can take to make the most of your time.

10 Affirmations to Stop Wasting Time at Work

  1. My livelihood is strongly connected to my job, I must stay focused.
  2. I strive to be the best employee.
  3. I put all of my energy into my work while I am at work.
  4. I get enough sleep to stay sharp all day.
  5. When I take care of myself with good food, exercise and sleep, wasting time is less likely.
  6. Today, I know I can stay focused while at work.
  7. Being productive feels good. Wasting time feels bad.
  8. When I put all of my energy into my job, I am financially rewarded.
  9. Time is my most precious asset. I manage it wisely.
  10. I am mindful about how I use my time at work.

Related: 20 Affirmations for Managing Your Time

The Definition of an Affirmation

An affirmation is simply a positive statement that affirms or asserts what you believe to be true. Negative self-talk also affirms what we believe, but it supports negative beliefs.

Why is having positive thoughts so important? Because what we believe shows up in our reality. We manifest the events in our lives from the thoughts that we have. Let’s say you are at work and you are tired and feeling bleh.

Thinking “I am so tired, I don’t feel good. I think I am getting sick,” is going to literally make you feel worse. Instead, if you think “I had fun staying up late and I feel great,” your lethargy will likely fade.

Positive affirmations can work in all types of situations. They can ease anxiety before a job interview, get you enthused about going to work, and make you feel even better about the work that you are doing.

Coupled with these 8 ways to stop wasting time at work, these affirmations become even more powerful.

Tips for Staying Focused At Work

You’ll have a huge advantage over your co-workers if you simply focus on your work and make the decision to stop wasting time. Here are a few tips to get you motivated to keep the workplace distractions away.

1. Take a Comfortable Seat.


If you spend most of the day in an office chair, buy a good chair or get your company to purchase one for you. Your company likely has an ergonomic guru who can assess what adjustments are needed to make your desk comfortable.

Consider how many hours a day you sit at work over several years. This isn’t a place to be stingy. You sit in your work chair more than you watch your TV or ride in your car.

How much did you spend on those?

An aching back or neck can really distract you from your work. It’s time to demand comfort from your office furniture.

2. Prioritize Tasks

Start the workday with the most time-sensitive or complex tasks. Make a running list of tasks that you need or want to get done. Mark the first-of-the-day tasks with a star or underline — some visual sign that it is a top task.

You can get more done in the first couple of hours of work than you will the rest of the day. Limit distractions and knock priority tasks off your list.

3. Use Headphones

Wearing headphones can help you stay focused and stop wasting time ate work.

Not only can you block out the noise of your work neighbors with headphones, you can also listen to something that will enhance your concentration.

The headphones also convey to people passing by your workspace that you are in work mode. They will be less likely to interrupt you with chit-chat.

4. Get to Work on Time.

Keeping a reliable schedule keeps your mind focused. It’s hard to get caught up if you show up late to work. It’s also stressful and distracting. If you are habitually late, it also looks like you don’t care about the rules. That in itself can hurt your career.

If you have trouble getting out the door in the morning, you can improve your routine to stop wasting time. Layout your clothing, jewelry, underwear, shoes, and accessories the night before. Pack your lunch the night before too.

Have your keys, ID badge, purse, computer, and phone in one spot ready to go. This prep takes about 30 minutes and will save you tons of time in the morning.

5. Put Your Phone Away and Ignore Emails.

When it comes to wasting time at work, checking email and using your phone top the list. If you feel an overwhelming sense of FOMO, set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on your work. No checking email and no phone time. Set your instant message to do not disturb. After the time is up, take 5 minutes to check email and play on your phone. Rinse and repeat. You would be surprised how much you can get done in 25 minutes. This brings us to our next item on the list.

6. Take Regular Breaks.

The optimal break schedule is roughly a 10-minute break each hour. However, it’s important to avoid taking your breaks in a way that will lead to distractions. Go for a walk. Keep chats short. Avoid allowing a 10-minute break to turn into a 30-minute waste of time.

7. Keep Water and Snacks Nearby.

Rather than getting up every 20 minutes to get something to drink or raid your boss’ candy jar, have water and snacks at your desk. Avoid getting caught up in a conversation by the coffee station. Save socializing for lunch or later in the day when your focus is waning.

8. Tidy Your Desk and Update Your List.

End the day on a positive note and give yourself the best opportunity to start the following day well. Tidy your desk and update your running list so that you know exactly what you need to do the next day.

Studies have shown that those in an office environment only spend a few hours each day doing productive work. The rest of the time is spent on non-essential activities and things like getting coffee, talking with a cubicle mate, and playing on the internet.

Good luck and get focused.

Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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