A slow day at work can sometimes feel like the most boring thing you could endure. And if you have a job where you can’t simply kick off for the rest of the day, you’re stuck looking for ways to fill the time.
However, if you’re a smart saver, you probably have plenty of things that you can do to maximize your value at work, prepare for future growth and earnings opportunities, and manage your personal finances.
Some of us would do anything to have a slow day at work. Our jobs are simply so hectic, and the office so understaffed, that a “slow day” is simply unheard of. Yet you’d be surprised—even the most hectic of jobs can see the occasional slow day at work.
And while it seems like a slow day at work would be nice, unfortunately you usually cannot take it as an opportunity to slack off. So how do you use your time wisely when you don’t have anything due? Here are some ideas for things to do on a slow work day.
When there’s not much work to do, or you finish all of your tasks by lunchtime, take some time to get organized. Do the little things you wish you could do but never get around to doing.
Clean your desk. Everyone has that huge pile of papers sitting in the corner that you keeping hoping with magically disappear. Go through them. Work with company finances?
Organize your finances. If you have old files taking up valuable space on your hard drive, empty out some storage space on your computer. Get your calendar up to date. Little things like this will feel refreshing, and they’ll help you streamline your workflow.
Customize your workspace.
On a similar note, spend some time making your workspace your own. Make it an environment that you will enjoy being in. This article has some great tips on creating a space that will help you stay relaxed, even through the everyday stresses of work.
Learn a new skill.
Is there a valuable skill that would be easy for you to learn from the comfort of your work computer? If your office is transitioning to new software, for example, you might spend some time completing training with the new software, as this article suggests.
If you work in online marketing, meanwhile, maybe you could spend some time learning HTML. Try to think of a skill that would help you complete your work more efficiently and pursue it.
Track your accomplishments.
In retrospect, what have you done to help your company? Take a quick inventory of your contributions and successful projects.
Have you increased revenue, brought in thousands of social media followers, or streamlined your company workflow? Write everything down in an easy-to-present manner. That way, you’ll be ready to talk about your accomplishments when a new position or promotion reveals itself.
Slow work days can sometimes be annoying, but they’re not going to last forever. You will wish you had your boring days back when the new month hits. Prepare now to be on top of your game when things do pick up.
Make plans now that will set you up for success in the near future. This might include calling and setting up appointments, sending some early emails, or drafting a few to do lists. Once you get busy, you will have already done the hard part.
Uneven workloads? You can always offer to help coworkers with their work. Your coworkers will definitely appreciate it, and your boss will take notice of your proactivity. As a bonus, you’ll learn more about what your coworkers do.
You can also use your extra time to do some networking for your career. Check in with former colleagues. Connect with current ones on LinkedIn. Research your industry and get in contact with people who inspire you. A little networking now can put you in a highly advantageous position later.
Strengthen work relationships.
When you think about it, you spend about as much time with some of your coworkers than you do with your own family. If you don’t enjoy who you work with, you won’t be happy.
So if there’s nothing to do around the office, make an effort to strengthen your professional relationships. That might mean just chatting with the person next to you.
It might mean asking someone new to sit next to you at lunch. Maybe you still haven’t properly welcomed that new guy who started over a month ago. No matter what it is, friendship is an integral part of the work atmosphere and you can do your part to improve it.