Some days, the work never stops coming, and you can barely keep your head above water. You find yourself looking at your watch and saying, “Is it really 6 p.m. already?” Other days, you’ve got nothing on the proverbial plate, and the minutes drag and drag. What should you do on these slow days? According to Jayson Demers of Inc.com, these days are blessings in disguise — opportunities to tackle projects you don’t usually have time for. Demers shares some terrific productivity tips in a recent Daily Muse post — read on to see how he suggests turning boredom to momentum.
1. Get Organized — Organization comes in many forms. Demer suggests you begin with the physical task of tidying up your workspace and filing old paperwork. You’ll work much better in an uncluttered environment. Next, set new priorities for upcoming tasks. One way to do this, Demer says, is to break things up into three categories: A-, B-, and C-level priorities. These are things that can/must be handled in the next day, the next week, and pretty much whenever you get around to them, respectively. Finally, you should catch up on some of the pesky background tasks you’ve been avoiding. “These are easy to procrastinate doing, especially in the face of much more important duties, but when you’re facing a slow day, you finally have a chance to catch up,” Demer writes.
2. Create New Things — Again, Demer offers several suggestions. First off, even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, you can create content for your company by putting together a blog post based on your expertise. “Make it fun by writing about your experiences in your own personal voice,” Demer advises. You might also try your hand at writing a new, more efficient workflow for some company procedure. There are undoubtedly problems in your office that could use fixing, and for once, you’ve got the time to tackle them. Lastly, you might draw up some internal documentation, such as a Standard Operating Procedure detailing your daily responsibilities or a long-term strategy plan for your department. When you pull that out at the next meeting, you’ll remind the higher-ups why you’re such a valuable employee.
3. Keep on Learning — Nowadays, thanks to webinars and online course, it’s easier than ever to pick up new skills. Not feeling quite that ambitious? Simply get up from your desk and visit another department. “You might be able to help out with some peripheral tasks, or you might be able to adapt your workflow to better accommodate their needs,” Demer writes.