Nowadays there’s just no room for idle workers on the job. It’s always good to prove how valuable you are to your company, and that your efforts are definitely equal to (or sometimes even much more) than how much you are compensated. Who would like to have a reputation as a dead weight or a malingerer in the company? Definitely not you, so let’s see how you could spend your time at your workplace wisely and to keep busy there:
Accomplish your responsibilities on time. Make your prime responsibilities (i.e. the ones you are paid for to do) your top priority before you occupy yourself with anything else. On the other hand, you should avoid closeting yourself up in your cubicle from 8 to 5; your co-workers might forget you exist (not a good thing). So how to acquire a balance? One handy tip is to account for each 30 minute period you spend at your workplace. List each 30-minute interval vertically on one side of your planner (8:00 – 8:30, then 8:30 – 9:00, etc) and then by consulting your daily to–do list, program what activities should occupy each given half hour. This also enables you to divide your big responsibilities into little chunks that are easier for you to accomplish (more reason to smile as you check off each task once you’ve finished it).
This might seem a little anal at first, but if you do this, you could see for yourself in black and white what you have accomplished that day. Also, it gives you an allowance to chalk in things like “coffee break”, or “chat with co-worker” which of course is important too in any workplace setting, and good for your general well–being.
Socialize. As mentioned earlier, socializing with your co-workers is one of your unwritten job responsibilities. The main point is that, you and your work won’t be valued if nobody knows who you are. The good news is that you don’t have to make yourself the office social butterfly to accomplish this. Take time to know your co-workers by name, interact with them, smile or say an easy hello every time you pass by in the corridors. You spend more time with these people on a daily basis than with anyone else you know, so invest time in getting to know them more. Attend office parties, have lunch with your teammates. And yes, again as mentioned earlier, feel free to chalk “socialize with co-workers” into your daily schedule, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Know more about your company. Wow. Because you’ve planned your day so well, you found yourself with some free time. What to do? Well, one suggestion is to acquire more information about the company you’re working for. You don’t want to get caught with a blank expression if somebody asks you basic questions like, “What do your company initials stand for?” or “What does your logo mean?” Sad to say, if a person doesn’t know his company well, he might be portrayed as a robot simply toiling uncaringly day–by–day. Get to know your higher–ups’ names and some basic information about them as well; this data might come in handy one day.
Develop skills related to your job. Again, free time on your hands. Congratulations! Instead of idling it away, make sure that you make the most of this time by improving your skills. Thank goodness for the internet, where you could research the latest news and updates about your profession right while you’re in your office workspace. Then maybe you could spend about 10 minutes on Facebook. But then again, maybe not.
Know more about other job responsibilities. Now this may be kind of advanced, but the effort here just might be worth it. Learn new skills from your co-workers, some of which might not cover your job description. It could be really simple stuff like how to update your company website, how the filing system works, how to operate the photocopier most efficiently, etc. The idea here is that you learn new skills that could be useful for you in the future; also, just in case the guy in charge is on leave, who else knows how to operate his equipment? You, of course. This would just add to your value to the company.
Just remember, it is important to act as a professional in the workplace. Take every opportunity to develop yourself in your profession, and you can be sure people around you will notice your efforts.