Downtime at work can be a welcome relief, but not having much to do can actually make the day feel like it is proceeding extra slowly. You can make the most of this time by focusing on tasks that are important, but yet you can never seem to find time to get to – consider these four ways to take advantage of a slow day at work.
Long-term goals often take the backseat to seemingly more pressing immediate priorities, so the break in the daily grind is the ideal time to devote to them. Use this time to write down your long-term professional goals, and break them down into a step-by-step plan. Research industry trends, look into training opportunities, or even allow yourself a brief period to let your mind wander without confinement – daydreaming without purpose is often when the best ideas strike.
Outer clutter can wind up contributing to inner stress, so take advantage of downtime at work to create a calming work space. Sort through papers and file or recycle as necessary, clear out and organize your email inbox, etc. Consider how being disorganized has affected your performance, such as not being able to find information in a timely manner or missing deadlines, and devote your free time to creating an organizational system that works for you.
When the time comes to discuss the possibility of a raise or promotion, you’ll want to have evidence available that shows the results you’ve achieved in your current position. Use free time on a slow day at work to record your accomplishments. Brainstorm, hunt down supporting details, and compile them into a document so you have a written record for which to refer. Then you’ll be prepared to easily add to the list as you achieve more and more.
Getting to know colleagues, both in your company and those outside of it, can be beneficial for your career. During a slow day at work, strike up conversations with people you don’t normally have a chance to talk to or send out an email to a professional contact and invite them to coffee to discuss industry topics. You can learn a lot just by having professional relationships with other people.
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