No matter how hard you work during the day, there are always a few chunks of dead time. Dead times include: when you are waiting for your coffee to kick in, on a quick break between meetings, when you finish a task a few minutes before lunch, or when there are only a few minutes left in the work day and all you can think about is dinner and Netflix. During these times it is easy to just stare blankly at your computer or flip through your phone, but there are easy tasks you can do quickly without much thought that will pay off in the long run.
Both your desk and digital desktop probably need a little sprucing up every once in a while. Throw out any old papers or trash and corral all your supplies into the proper drawers or organizers. Make sure you give a little love to your computer desktop too by deleting any documents or downloads you don’t need and moving ones you want to save to appropriate folders. When you are swamped, you will be glad you can find everything you need and won’t have to dig through piles of papers.
Tackle Your Inbox
Does anyone ever not have emails they need to respond to? Ones that were not deemed a priority are probably sitting unanswered, so spend a few minutes responding to any you ignored or following up on emails you sent that were never responded to. Then file away or delete any that you no longer need. Is there any greater feeling than a clear inbox?
When you are constantly trying to keep up with a heavy work flow, sometimes it feels like you just go, go, go. When you have a free moment, it is the perfect time to plan. If you only have a minute or two, jot down a quick to-do list to keep you on track for the day. But if you have ten minutes, you can probably plan out your entire week. Take a good look at your calendar and plan when you can reasonably accomplish things. Not only will you have a game plan to keep you on track when things get chaotic, but it will be super satisfying to check items off a to-do list. And the more productive you feel, the more productive you will be.
Everyone is welcome to a break or two throughout the day! Spend five minutes taking a walk around the office, or outside if you can, and stretch your legs. Connect with a coworker, have a snack, or spend a few minutes with your eyes closed taking deep breaths. You need to hit the refresh button every once in a while. Try not to spend your downtime on your phone though. Your eyes and thumbs need a break from the constant screen action every once in awhile.
In our opinion, the best way to spend a few spare minutes is to learn something new. Of course you can head to Google and start learning new ways to use Excel or about a career skill you aren’t familiar with, but your coworkers are your best resource. Take a walk over to a different department to find out more about what they do or ask a team member about one of their responsibilities that you don’t have experience with. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn!
Want even more productivity hacks? Here are 5 Productive Habits of Entrepreneurs!
featured image credit: Stock That Rocks