The Biggest Time Wasters

The average brit wastes a staggering 590* hours a year on pointless, frustrating tasks, according to new research.

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A nationwide survey of British adults has revealed that we squander 22 percent of our lives on fruitless activity, such as queuing in shops, resetting passwords and waiting on hold.

When asked what the biggest drains on their time were, 63 percent chose being stuck in traffic, making it top of the time waster list, while being put on hold came second (55 percent) and languishing in shop queues third (42 percent).

The research, by webuyanycar, found worrying about things you can’t do anything about (39 percent), resetting passwords (35 percent) and browsing social media (28 percent) also made the list, along with watching films with disappointing endings (27 percent), twiddling thumbs while wifi connects (27 percent) and waiting for late trains (26 percent).

Despite, or perhaps because of, the hours we fritter away on pointless tasks, three in five Brits (62 percent) claim they are time poor and 85 percent believe it is modern life that is to blame, with so many options on offer meaning there is a bigger capacity to waste time.

The study found that, unsurprisingly, 81 percent of us really HATE wasting time, and 47 percent believe that squandered time leads to reduced productivity.

And it doesn’t just impact on our productivity: feeling that we’ve wasted our precious time makes half of Brits (49 percent) feel frustrated and nearly one in five Brits (17 percent) feel full of regret for all the misspent minutes. In fact, more than half of us (52 percent) believe it’s not just your life that is thrown away because of pointless tasks, claiming that ‘time is money’.

The study found that six in ten of us (63 percent) believe we’ll look back at life and feel sad about all the time we’ve wasted.

If you could get back the time you wasted

When quizzed on what they would do if they could have all the needlessly spent time back, 59 percent said they would like to see more family and friends, 58 percent said they’d go travelling and 35 percent would love to learn a new skill, like a language.