A-Z Popular Blog Time Search »
Time Management
Related Guides
Time Management
Key Concepts
Time Management

19 Examples of a Time Sink

A time sink is an activity or situation that wastes time. This is an analogy to a sink that drains away water or a heat sink that drains away heat. Time sinks create the sensation that time moved surprisingly quickly such that people may feel that time was completely lost. The following are illustrative examples.
A puppy who destroys your house on a daily basis such that the responsibilities of pet ownership are more than you expected.
An employer who interviews you seven times and then decides they have no budget to hire anyone.
Being stuck in a traffic jam.
Coworkers who become dependent on you such that they seldom solve a problem on their own.
Demanding clients / customers / stakeholders who require a great deal of support.
Escalating commitment whereby you start something that consumes unexpected resources and fear to quit due to the resources you've invested.
Idle conversation such as workplace gossip.
Jury duty and other major disruptions to your time that are sudden, unexpected and mandatory.
Lines in a fast food restaurant.
Meetings that extend beyond their schedule, go off on tangents and fail to add much value.
Problem solving such as a problem with a mobile app that you think will take 2 minutes to solve that ends up consuming several hours.
Red tape such as strangely complex tax forms.
Service failures such as a streaming media service that keeps crashing / becoming slow.
Shopping online whereby you spend far longer than expected comparing products.
Social media "rabbit holes" where you begin with a purpose in mind but end up following links suggested by AI that seeks to increase user engagement.
Time spent worrying about something.
Video game tasks / activities / missions / goals that take far longer than players initially expect.
Waiting for a delayed flight.
Waiting for a friend who is late.
In the content of video games, time sinks may be a design feature whereby certain goals in the game are made time consuming in order to increase user engagement.
Overview: Time Sink
A surprisingly long period of time that is unproductive and wasted.
Also Known As
Time Burglar
Time Suck
Related Concepts

Time Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about time management.
Attention Span
Busy Work
Mise en Place
Parkinsons Law
Personal Productivity
Productivity Benefits
Rabbit Hole
Respect For Time
Schedule Compression
Single Tasking
Time Blocking
Time Boxing
Time Efficiency
Time Pressure
Time Sink
Time Strengths
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Time Management

A comprehensive guide to time management techniques.

Time Examples

The definition of time with examples.

Productivity Management

The definition of productivity management with examples.


An overview of practical thinking and behavior with examples.


An overview of initiative with examples for professionals and students.

Time Strengths

A list of time management strengths.

Words To Describe Time

A vocabulary for describing time.

Time Pressure

An overview of time pressures with examples.

More With Less

An overview of more with less with examples.

Time Management Examples

An overview of time management with examples.


A list of common tasks.

Administrative Tasks

A list of common administrative tasks.

Time Blocking

An overview of time blocking with examples.


The basics of productivity.


A list of capabilities.

Project Productivity

A definition of project productivity with 3 example calculations.

Productivity Examples

A list of productivity examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map