Ever feel frustrated not having enough to do at work? Then ask for some!
Whether you’ve completed all your assignments for the day or you simply have a slow day you might want to see what other work you could take on. You could ask in person, send an email or make a quick phone call.
How to Ask
How you go about this is important. Think about the work style of your co-workers. What will be the simplest and the least intrusive way to ask him/her? You will most likely have to figure out who likes what type of communication by testing the waters a couple times. Some of my co-workers only communicate via email, others like it when I walk over to talk in person and others would rather not have me come to them at all. You will find out that sometimes you just have to wait for someone to come to you.
If that is your case to fill the rest of your day I would suggest utilizing the time you have to work on something for yourself.
Personal Time Fillers
This is a personal choice and will vary depending on what your job is, but here are some suggestions of projects I’ve done with my spare time…
Type up Notes
I have taken notes in my previous meetings and trainings so I something to refer back to. I turn these notes into an outline of responsibilities I have and how to complete them.
Make a One Sheet
A one sheet is the typed up steps on how to complete a project. If done properly someone should be able to look at the one sheet and complete the task without any assistance. This is helpful to have on days when you are absent and training someone else.
Short Cuts and Cheat Sheets
I have created a few short cuts and cheat sheets that are posted at my desk for quick reference. For example, to review and correct time sheets I receive I need to recall what different budget codes mean. I have created a cheat sheet that lists what the general codes mean; W code is a Broadband code, C code is Outreach projects, and F codes all have to do with Revenue.
Create a Schedule
For regular projects and deadlines it might be helpful to have a schedule in a monthly, weekly or daily calendar. I personally like to have my big regular projects in a monthly calendar. Going back to my time sheets example, I have created a monthly schedule where I layout when I need to send my e-mail reminders to employees for due dates, when time sheets are due to me, pay days and deadlines when time sheets are due to payroll. For me it is helpful to see the big picture of my schedule, but you may have a reason to narrow your view.
These are just a few extra projects I like to try and fill my time with. It is important to stay busy and not use extra free time to goof around on the internet. I know it sounds obvious but you would be surprised how much your company can see of what you do on your computer.
At one of my old jobs before graduating we had a new director. She worked well with everyone and always got all her work done. The problem was that she got all her work done in the morning and just surfed the web after. Sounds innocent, but she was fired. The company could see her internet usage and viewed this as a sign of laziness because she did not take the initiative to see if there was more work she could take on.
Do you have any productive time fillers to keep yourself busy, but more importantly, productive and organized?