We’ve all experienced the busiest days at work, where it feels like you barely have room to grab a sip of water, let alone take an actual break. As much work as you have to do, with looming deadlines, new campaigns, creating reports, and all the other little things, we usually like these busy days, because it means the workday passes faster, and we get to enjoy our downtime.
But what about those days when you feel like time is standing still? Maybe you’ve just finished a big project, sent in your monthly report, or have done any other significant things on your to-do list. Now what? How do you fill a day with lots of downtimes without wasting away the day?
Keep reading to find out how to fill up your day without blankly staring at your screen or wasting time with things that are in no way related to your job, like filling out tests about what dog you would be on Facebook.
Pursue Professional Development
Find ways to improve your professional skills. That could be watching online videos or registering for an online course on your profession, or maybe you can find materials to study to advance your strengths in particular areas that you may be able to implement in your daily work life.
You could even register for webinars or conferences that you think would help you be more successful or productive in your field. Nowadays, a great way to level up your knowledge of the industry you’re in is to listen to podcasts covering the specific topics you are interested in.
Reach Out to Peers in Your Industry
Since you’re having some downtime try reaching out to people you know or are looking up to in your industry. It could be your boss, your mentor, or someone you know who is knowledgeable and would be a great source of information and inspiration for you.
You can cover industry news, any new tips and tricks on how to strive in your field of work, the market trends, or any career advice they may have for you.
During a slow work day, you can finally have some time to talk to your coworkers as well and build a rapport with them. This way you’ll be able to build relationships that may benefit you in future collaborations.
Plan Future Tasks
You may have some free time now, but that doesn’t mean tasks won’t catch up to you.
That’s why you should always plan ahead. Creating your schedule for the upcoming week or month will also give your day some structure because you’ll be working on your calendar. Planning ahead will also help your productivity, not just during the day of mapping out your tasks, but in the future in general.
Create your daily to-do lists noting everything that you need to work on, starting from checking your inbox in the morning, to scheduling calls with your client, working on social media, or anything else. If you have any bigger projects coming up, create a list with project deadlines, so you know when to start and finish working on the tasks for the planned projects.
Take On More Responsibility
If you constantly feel like you’re running out of things to do at work, talk to your client and ask them to assign more tasks for you to do. Think about what you want to and are capable of doing to help your manager and their business. Maybe there are certain skills you have that you can use to help your client be more successful or productive.
Asking for more responsibilities will also show the client that you really care about the work you do and that you’re willing to take initiative.
Clean Up Your Workspace
Downtime is great for cleaning and organizing. During the busier times, you may not be able to pay too much attention to how your workspace looks, whether that is your actual desk or the desktop of your computer.
When a workday is on the slower side, you can take care of it and declutter your space. Clean up your desk, remove the unnecessary items you’ve left there, and even dust if necessary. When it comes to your desktop, make sure you spend some time organizing your files, screenshots, photos, etc. Delete what’s no longer needed, and organize everything into separate folders. You can even use this downtime to organize your email.
Cleaning up your workspace may even inspire you to take on new things or approach your upcoming projects with a clearer mind. The environment around us very much impacts our ability to concentrate and be excited about our tasks at work as well.
Benefits of Slow Days at Work
A lot of the time we think that being busy at work is what’s going to make us productive, but the secret sauce of being productive lies in having slow days as well. The slow days at work will let us reset, reorganize, and go over regular admin tasks that we may forget during our daily grind.
Having a slow day here and there is also good for our mental health. Being in a constant run we don’t pay enough attention to the balance of our workday and may only realize it when burnout hits. Slow days help us lower the levels of stress from running big projects or handling difficult situations at work. It also helps with refocusing and regaining your motivation.
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