Cold callers, self-service checkouts and hand-wash only clothes are among life’s biggest wastes of time, according to a new survey.
Caffeine-free tea and coffee, automated telephone systems, soap operas and TV ads also feature in the top 50 list.
Social media also looms large as a ‘time vampire’ – including aimless tweeting, pointless videos and instant messaging at work instead of speaking to colleagues.
Scrolling through Facebook five minutes after the last check, and waiting for YouTube videos to buffer also feature in the list.
The average Brit claims to waste one hour and 42 minutes of their precious time every day, and wishes they could spend it doing more useful things such as getting jobs done around the house and pursuing hobbies and interests.
That’s the equivalent of almost of 12 hours a week wasted on things such as playing mind-numbing games likes Candy Crush, hangovers and purchasing coffee on the go.
Daniel Attia, CEO of fixed-fee estate agent YOPA, which conducted the study of 2,000 adults said: “There is nothing more irritating than having your time wasted when you have very little spare in the first place.
“The majority of British adults lead exceptionally busy lives – balancing work and personal life.
“So when they want to get something important done, such as phoning to arrange insurance, travelling to work, and moving house, the last thing they want are life’s modern inconveniences slowing things down.”
The study shows the average person spends hours of their day waiting – for people to call back, parcels to arrive, delayed trains, pages to loads on the computer, queuing, food to defrost and the washing machine cycle to finish.
For those respondents with families, much time is spent arguing over homework, booking doctors’ appointments and cleaning the house only to watch everyone trash it again five minutes later.
Packing a shopping trolley, unpacking it onto a conveyor belt, packing into shopping bags and then unpacking again is also something which grates many.
Untangling ear phones, removing a ridiculous amount of packaging from a small item and browsing properties online which you have no intention of buying also feature on the list.
In fact, the average person reckons they waste at least one whole day a week at work, and could save an hour a day in the workplace if they didn’t have to deal with unnecessary meetings and phone calls.
While most people admit to wasting an hour and 24 minutes using social media and surfing the internet every day.
Daniel Attia, CEO of YOPA continued: “It’s a great shame that life’s distractions are standing in the way of spending precious time with loved ones, friends and family. However it’s clear from these results that many time wasters are unavoidable – which is why savvy consumers are becoming increasingly receptive to a more efficient ways of doing things.
“This is exactly what YOPA is doing with estate agency – using technology to cut down the high costs and lengthy processes that can make selling your home such a stressful experience.”
TOP 50 TIME WASTERS
1. Cold callers
2. Adverts before you can watch any video / TV online
3. Trying to get through to call centres
4. Having to enter a series of numbers on a telephone key pad before being able to talk to a human
5. Sitting in traffic jams
6. Automated telephone systems
7. Queuing for ages
8. People asking questions because they’re too lazy to look up the answer themselves
9. Meetings which could just have easily taken place over the telephone
10. Unnecessary packaging for the smallest of items
11. Waiting for a call back
12. Trying to remember your passwords and log in details
13. TV adverts
14. Self-service checkouts where you always need assistance
15. Trying to book a doctor’s appointment
16. Waiting for a parcel to arrive
17. Home insurance phone calls
18. Waiting for delayed trains
19. Waiting for pages to load on the computer
20. Scrolling through Facebook five minutes after you last checked it
21. Watching soap operas
22. Worrying about what might happen
23. Having to return items to a shop that don’t fit
24. Spending a day being hungover and not doing anything
25. Waiting for public transport
26. Waiting in line at the post office
27. Clothes which are hand-wash only
28. Playing mind numbing games like Candy Crush
29. Dusting only for the dust to settle again
30. Watching pointless videos on social media
31. Commuting to work
32. Tweeting about nothing in particular
33. Cleaning the house, only to watch the family trash it five minutes later
34. Instant messaging at work when you could just speak to each other
35. Packing a shopping trolley, unpacking onto a conveyor belt, packing into shopping bags and unpacking again
36. Waiting for YouTube videos to buffer
37. Looking at pictures of people you don’t even know on social media
38. Caffeine free tea and coffee
39. Weak tea bags
40. Untangling ear phones for them to get tangled again
41. Waiting for food to defrost
42. Watching television repeats
43. Waiting for the washing machine cycle to finish
44. Taking hundreds of photos to try and get the perfect selfie
45. Going out to buy coffee when you could simply have one at home or work
46. Browsing holidays online that you can’t afford
47. Clients/customers that won’t listen to you
48. Browsing properties online that you never plan to buy
49. The inevitable arguments with the children before the homework is finally done
50. Trying on things you can’t afford