What is the biggest waste of time in engineers work-day?
There are many...
1) Looking for information. I.e. not having the required standards within the company (E.g. ISO, ASME etc) or the companies own internal standards being out of date.
2) Poor QC control passing problems to the customer who comes back to the engineer for a resolution.
3) Poor project control. Engineers having to do the work of project managers
4) Email / Phones. Sometimes its just nice not to be disturbed!
Letting ones interest control one and holding back what needs to be done while one indulges these interests. There is nothing wrong with having interest but it is just too easy for ones interest to pull one away from the work that needs to be done.