We all experience moments where we find ourselves with nothing to do and battling boredom. These moments are rare at work as we often have endless tasks. But be it the exhaustion of working constantly that makes us feel bored of the routine tasks or an unexpected day at work where there are technical issues that we cannot work on, we end up in a situation where we are bored at work. So, if you ever find yourself wondering what to do at work when there is no work, here is a list of 15 Productive things to do when bored at work
So, let’s dive in and discover how you can turn your idle time into an opportunity for growth!
What to do at work when there is no work
Here are 15 Productive things to do when bored at work
1: Organize Your Work Computer
When bored at work you can organize your work computer to boost productivity and streamline all your data. You should start by creating folders and subfolders for different projects, documents, and files so that you can easily retrieve files when needed. This will make it easier to find what you need and save time that would be spent searching for specific files. You can also declutter your computer by deleting unnecessary files and uninstalling unused software to free up space and improve computer performance. You may also reach your IT team to upgrade the systems and software
There is nothing better than a speedy computer with organized files that can boost your productivity at work.
2: Organize Your Workspace
Use the free time at hand to give your work desk a makeover. Organize your workspace to make it free of clutter and segregate things as per the need. An organized desk makes work less overwhelming and reduces chaos while working, it positively improves the way you approach work.
With a well-organized work desk with no overflowing papers and hanging wires, you can focus on your work better and improves overall work efficiency. It also creates an environment that promotes creativity and gives others at work a positive reflection about your etiquette at work. You should definitely use your free time at work to organize your workspace. You should read my post 14 Tips to organize your work desk to get started.
3: Organize your work
When bored at work spend time organizing your work to increase productivity and become an organized person. Being organized at work is much more than organizing your workspace and computers it is about building systems and organizing your workflow and optimizing the way you approach work. Identify your priorities and create a to-do list to keep track of your tasks. Make a daily work routine, and track your deadlines and appointments. Getting organized at work will make you less stressed, avoid waste of time and make you effective. You will be more productive at work and will be able to be on top of your goals. Here is my post on How to be organized at work, it has everything you need to get organized at work.
4: Take work-related training
Most companies have work-related training that we must complete but we keep procrastinating them. Be it work ethics training or a code of conduct that is due but we keep postponing them under the pile of never-ending work. You can use your free time to complete them, although you may find them not necessary but the management at work consider them essential so save yourself some bad reputation by not finishing them and get through with them in your free time.
5: Organize your e-mail inbox
We spend a lot of time at work over emails. Although necessary they really waste a lot of work time and hamper your productivity. When bored at work you can organize your e-mail inbox to save time in the future. By organizing emails you can stop the instances of missing an important email and deadlines.
You can create folders and labels for different types of emails so that you can easily locate emails that require timely responses and prioritize them. For detailed ways to organize your email, you should read How to organize email quickly. With some effort and some organization methods shared in the post, you can organize your e-mails and stop wasting time on emails.
P.S. You may like to read my post Best Tips to improve email productivity to be more intentional with your emails.
6: Build habits for success
Habits are the key to success. They define your life and building the right habits can make you successful. It is a good idea to reflect on your life and identify some habits that you can build to bring success. Developing habits for success can help you meet your goals faster and bring an overall change in your attitude toward life. Many successful people have attributed their success to having the right habits. Here are 10 habits to be successful at work that you can refer to for selecting the right habits for you to be successful.
Upskilling at work has become increasingly important in today’s competitive world. With new technology development, everything is evolving rapidly and you must keep up with the changing demands of the industry. Upskilling prepares you for future career advancements and increases your value to the company. By expanding your skill set and knowledge base, you are better equipped to tackle new challenges and take on roles with more significant responsibilities. It builds your confidence and makes you well-prepared for any work requirements that arise.
You should start by identifying things related to your work to start upskilling, it can be as simple as learning some keyboard shortcuts to increase your productivity or a detailed understanding and implementation of professional tools. Some commonly required principles at work that are not taught at college are SWOT, KANBAN, lean management, etc. There are many free resources and online courses available for the same.
8: Make master lists
Making master lists is a great way to make use of your free time which helps you to stay organized and productive. The best part about the master lists is that once you make them the right way you need not spend time making them repeatedly. It can help you prioritize tasks, plan ahead, and ensure that you’re making the most of your limited time. With master lists, you can create an overview of all the things that need to be done and keep track of progress and stay on top of things. To start making master lists you should definitely refer to the 12 Master Lists you must make to be organized at work and 20 Lists to make to organize your life.
9: Setup work planner
One of the best use of free time at work that I often find therapeutic is setting up your work planner. I am obsessed with physical planners. I have spent time on some digital planners but there is something so satisfying about the physical planners. It is one of the best ways to build your own productivity system and be organized at work.
A work planner is an essential tool for effective time management. It helps in organizing tasks, setting priorities and deadlines, and staying on track with daily routines. Your work planner should have everything to help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day. You need not have an expensive planner but using a blank notebook you can make one. I have a detailed post on setting a work planner in a notebook that has everything you need, 10 ways to organize a notebook for work.
10: Read articles on leadership and management
If you are aspiring to be a leader or a manager, it is best to make use of your free time when bored at work to reading articles on leadership and management regularly. They provide insights on strategies and best practices on how to lead and manage teams effectively, which is essential for achieving success in any business.
Reading articles from reputable sources will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends in leadership and management, helping you to develop your skills and become a more effective leader or manager.
Reading these articles can take a few minutes and you can easily do so if you are early for a meeting. With the constant evolution of business practices, staying current with the latest leadership and management trends will be valuable to you.
11: Practice self-care
When bored at work spend time on self-care. Often we just keep rushing and just want to be productive without realizing we may be burning out ourselves. Using your free time at work can be used to spend on your self-care and take care of your well-being. Self-care is often approached as a luxury but in fact, it’s a good investment of time that improves your productivity. Spend some time relaxing and unwinding at work. Self-care at work is even more essential as you are more stressed and mentally exhausted at work. You need not spend a lot of time on self-care or money but there are many ways in which you can use the time available at work to practice self-care at work. Here are 10 self-care at work tips for your wellness at the workplace.
12: Ask if others need help
When you have some spare time at work you can offer help to others. Building a strong network with your colleagues is key to a successful and fulfilling career. By offering your help and expertise to your peers, you not only establish yourself as a team player but also learn from others. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen bonds and cultivate a more positive work environment for yourself. The kind act of helping others can help future collaboration. So, don’t hesitate to lend a hand for help you might just find it to be the start of a successful and thriving professional journey.
13: Create LinkedIn Profile and connect with experts
Creating a LinkedIn profile can be the first step toward building a strong professional network. Use your free time to create a LinkedIn profile that is a masterpiece and start connecting with experts and leaders in your industry. For success in the professional world networking and letting others know your capabilities is important and LinkedIn lets you do so.
If you already have a LinkedIn account you can use the free time to update it with your latest skills, achievements, and interest. Let the world know if you have completed an advanced training or course. Connecting with experts can also lead to potential job opportunities, collaborations, and new business scopes. So, definitely give it a try when you are bored at work and have spare time. This will help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments, and also give you the opportunity to learn from other’s experiences.
14: Build your productivity system
When it comes to being productive each of us has different needs and styles of working. Although there are many resources and help available to help you improve your productivity, ultimately you have to identify and give a trail to things that work for you and establish your own system.
When bored at work identify the areas of your life and work where you want to improve your productivity. Define your goals, make To-Do lists, prioritize work, and make a daily routine. Find when are you most productive and make use of that time of the day to be effective. Identify the time management tools you find most comfortable and effective to use and prepare plans as per them. By creating a customized productivity system that suits your own needs, you’ll be more likely to stick with it and see real results. This website is all about productivity tools and building routines you may find many useful resources for improving work productivity, check –Work management. And if you are a working mom you should definitely check- manage life as a working mom to be a productive mom.
15: Look for a scope of improvement at work
It is important to always look for scope for improvement at work. You should identify areas where you can contribute towards development. In general, things that are receiving many complaints, and take a long amount of work or time can be a good area to look in. You can try to optimize or automate the process to reduce the time taken to complete. Also, areas, where there are recent improvements in the industry, can be attempted to improve at your company. You can use your free time to dig deep into these and after complete understanding reach your supervisors for their views.
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So these are the 15 productive things to do when bored at work. So next time when there is no work to do at the office grab this list and try to make some good use of your time rather than mindlessly scrolling over the phone.