Ways to be Productive during your Downtime at Work

From time to time, it is good to have a bit of downtime at work, to get to those things that are semi-essential but are not necessarily a priority. However, downtime for some can be a frustrating time, especially if it happens unexpectedly. Do not allow it to get the better of you. Make the most of the time and even enjoy the change in routine! View downtime, whether planned or unplanned, as positive and turn it into a productive period from which you can benefit.



1. Organized Space

Improved organization means increased productivity at work! Make use of downtime to organize your office space. A cleared tidy space helps to make one feel more energized about work and, no doubt, also helps one to think clearly! Clean out drawers and cupboards and sort out files and paperwork. Make sure that you give everything a home. Determine what is no longer needed, what needs to be archived and what needs to be within easy reach. Also tidy cables by tying them together, so that they are not noticeable or in the way. It seems that when the space around you is clean and clear, your mind is also clean and clear to function optimally, and productivity is consequently boosted.

2. Organized IT

In today’s tech world you may not have filing cabinets to sort out, but you may need to sort out electronic files. Downtime is just the right time to get on with this job. For quick and easy access create some priority folders by adding a number to folders’ names, so that they will appear at the top of your list of folders. Create folders and sub-folders for documents that have not yet been saved in a specific place. Make backups where necessary. Remove what is no longer of importance. Then tackle online calendars. Add upcoming deadlines and meetings. Make to-do-lists and work through them systematically to get ahead with tasks.


3. Career Development

Use downtime for career development or for self-improvement. Depending on how much time you have on your hands, look for relevant online courses to build or strengthen your personal skills or career skills, or to polish your IT skills. Or, simply watch short video tutorials on the subject of interest. Also consider talking to an expert or reading material that will benefit your career. Alternatively, simply use the time to get on-top of industry news, so that you know what is happening in your field.

4. Management Planning

If you are in a management position, make plans that can benefit your team. Downtime can be used to focus on creative tasks or projects that can benefit your colleagues and their professional development. Perhaps consider organising a team-building activity or a short career development session. Consider how your employees can benefit from watching training videos or self-improvement videos. Find suitable online ones relevant to your field. Or, even better, create them yourself. Consider exactly what knowledge you want your team to gain and communicate that in the form of a short explainer video. You can create these, quite effortlessly, with an online video making tool like mysimpleshow!

5. Relaxation

Get yourself a coffee and sit back and relax while watching a documentary that will increase your knowledge. It can be work-related, or simply for self-improvement. By watching a documentary in your field, you can relax and at the same time be “passively productive”! Consider other leisure events as well. Use the time for team-building activities. These may be work related, or could simply be fun activities (like taking your team ten-pin bowling for the afternoon)! You will all have a great time while getting to know each other better (and consequently build better work relationships).



Whether your downtime is planned or comes out of the blue, be prepared and ready to make the most of your time. When having more time on your hands do not waste it. Instead, use the time to do work-related activities that are not vital, but that you will enjoy. Moreover, downtime provides you with time to get those things that are important, but not necessarily urgent, out of the way. So, make the most of your downtime at work!