If there was one thing I learned waiting tables through college, it was this: never pull a plate away from somebody unless you were sure they were done eating.
Just kidding (half kidding). The most valuable lesson I learned was that free time is never an option. While you’re on the clock being paid, you should always find something to do. I think this overall has made me a better employee; I try to never be the one you find sitting around on Facebook in the office.
Right now, though, things at work are slow. And by slow, I mean really, really slow. Normally my workplace is bustling with people and projects, but we’ve entered a quiet season, and the place is a ghosttown.
The change in pace has made checking Facebook so much more appealing, but remembering the “always find something to do” rule has kept me on my toes and away from the computer. My first thought every time I’m faced with downtime is, “What can I do?”
Luckily, I found this very simple checklist online. It’s geared more towards people at their first professional job (such as myself), but I think that it can be applicable for anyone.
1. Double, triple, and quadruple check your work.
2. Look ahead at your deadlines for the week.
3. Ask one of your coworkers if they need help with a project.
4. Organize your workspace.
5. Take inventory of your accomplishments.
6. Organize your emails and desktop.
7. Create a to-do list for tomorrow and the upcoming week.
8. Build your knowledge.
9. Complete a back-burner project.
10. Get involved with another team project.
Looking this list over helped jog my memory about deadlines I needed to schedule out, the clutter around my desk I’d been meaning to clear, the emails I could finally delete, and the many little side projects I’d been too busy to do – until now.
I hope this helps motivate you to stop Facebook stalking that old high school friend & get to work!