5 Productive Things to Do When You’re Bored at Work

April 1, 2016 • Rehack Team


Let’s be honest, work is not the most entertaining place in the world. Even if you absolutely love your job or career, surely there are times when you’re bored. What are productive things to do when bored?

Today most people toil away their excess time by fidgeting with a smartphone, conducting searches on the internet, or taking a nap at their desk.

Those activities sound wonderful, but sadly procrastination has a way of holding you back. There are much better ways to make use of your time. More specifically, there are productive things you can do when bored, without actually wasting time.

When times are slow, things can certainly get frustrating at work. Rather than speed through the hours while doing nothing, why not do something productive instead? Here are five productive things you can do to pass the time constructively.

1. Organize Your Email

If you organize your email on a regular basis, this tip probably doesn’t apply to you. For the rest of you, your inbox might be a disaster. Clutter builds up even if you have rules and filters set up to send emails to a specific folder, location, or directory. You can use downtime in the office to organize your email, so you can work more efficiently when it counts.

This is a great time to set up auto-forward rules, adjust your personal signature, unsubscribe to excess newsletters, and more.

Organizing your email is almost always a time-consuming task, but it’s time well spent.

2. Improve an Internal Process or Task

You’ve likely come across an internal process or task at work that is convoluted. The task in question could stand some improvement in terms of organization and requirements. During your downtime, take a moment to streamline some of these processes. Come up with an alternate plan or a much more efficient way to do things.

If you’re not a member of management, ask for approved before putting the new process into action. This is a great way to show your higher-ups that you’re willing to take the initiative.

3. Educate Yourself

To continue growing as an individual and as an employee, never stop learning. Use your downtime to research and educate yourself on duties that you may not fully understand. There are usually training manuals and resources at your disposal.

Take the time to learn about some of your colleagues’ jobs and responsibilities. This will help if you’re ever promoted or if someone asks you to fill in for them.

If you cannot find the resources to do this on your own, ask HR or your boss for additional training materials. It’s highly unlikely that they would refuse your offer to learn more.

4. Work Ahead

This may seem like a no-brainer, but instead of wasting time you can spend it working ahead. This is especially great if you have future deadlines to meet. Working ahead can remove stress, and it can help you free up some extra time in the future.

The other great thing about working ahead is that you have more time to fine tune and fix errors. It can be difficult to perfect a task or project if you turn in the equivalent of the first draft right at the deadline.

5. Update Your Resume

Downtime at work is an excellent time to update your resume. You never know when a new opportunity will present itself, especially within your company. To beat other applicants to the punch, it’s always beneficial to have an up-to-date copy of your resume handy.

Your resume is also helpful if you’re called in to discuss potential promotions with your employer. You can use it to bolster the idea that you’re ready to move up — and those claims are backed by proof the proof of your experience as it’s outlined on your resume.

What are some productive ways that you spend your time when you’re bored at work? Share your thoughts and ideas below!