Amp Up Downtime

By, 09/05/2012

Having a little downtime in the office here and there isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Downtime can be helpful in clearing your head, refocusing on your work or just organizing your day. But too much of it can lead to a slippery slope of excessive web-browsing or too many personal emails during work hours.

Maybe it’s the workaholic in me, but I find developing side projects for myself a rewarding way to keep busy during slower times. Sure, it’s difficult to wrench away from entertainment news or the latest sports score, but in the end, focusing on a project (even a small item like scheduling) adds myriad benefits that likely outweigh knowing the latest Hollywood gossip.

So, next time you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, think about some of the benefits of tackling a project instead:

  1. Getting known: If you have the capacity to take on extra responsibility, doing so likely brings you positive attention from your peers and managers.
  2. Networking across the organization: Projects often require help from people with various experiences throughout the organization. A project is an ideal chance to meet them and build rapport.
  3. Explore a new role: Exposure to people in other departments may help give you new career ambitions—whether or not you’re currently interested in moving to a new role.
  4. Enriching your current role: A good place to start when deciding on a project is to look at your job development and where you may have met frustration. Reflecting on past stumbling blocks may lead you to uncover new processes to improve your job.