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Chris Clinton

Busy Is Better

A recent study found that if you keep yourself busy, you’ll be happy. Well, kind of. While we can’t see anything wrong with that, how do you entertain yourself when you have absolutely nothing to do at the office? It might not happen often, but there are times when you find the paper piles on your desk depleted and your inbox cleared. Follow these expert tips to make downtime at the office, happy time.

When you have lots on your plate and rely heavily on your well-oiled system to keep you focused and on track, you can’t afford to be disorganised, says productivity specialist and professional organiser, Tracey Foulkes, owner of Get Organised. But when the rush is over and the deadlines have been met, she says, it’s easy to find yourself suddenly struggling to adjust to a different pace. Often, you’ll find yourself spending three-times longer on a project when there are no time constraints. If you find yourself fumbling through your usually, organised day not knowing what to do, says Foulkes, try these...


Plan Ahead ‘Take stock of your e-mail inbox,’ says Foulkes. If your work schedule has been manic and you haven’t been able to continually de-clutter your inbox, use your free time to delete e-mails you don’t need, she recommends. ‘Create folders for those you need to keep, update your contacts and unsubscribe to newsletters you’ve been receiving, but have never read.’ Foulkes also suggests creating a folder called ‘To Read, Review & Research,’ for incoming mail to focus on during quieter times.
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If you’re still staring out the window, wondering what to do next, follow Martyn’s tips to keep yourself busy.

1. Do some filing
2. Read through company newsletters or any manuals you haven’t had time to go through
3. Water your pot plants
4. Re-establish contact with people, business associates and customers you haven’t spoken to in a while
5. Take on a new project, or offer to help someone with their project
6. Invite a colleague or co-worker to lunch to catch up
7. Plan an office tea party; bake some treats and make it a special occasion
8. Ask you manager if you can help with anything
9. Run errands
10. Take a couple of days off to refresh yourself
11. Learn a new skill
12. Look at upgrading your IT skills
13. Update your diary and birthday lists and set reminders
14. Come up with some new ideas that may generate business
15. Network and update your social networking sites
16. Plan your work schedule for the coming weeks
17. Take care of yourself: book a facial, manicure or pedicure – but do it quietly so the entire office doesn't hear
18. Go on a training course and attend seminars, workshops or lectures
19. Re-look at your career and start considering putting together a job search strategy to apply for a more challenging position
20. Re-organise your finances

Author: Lindi Brownell
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