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How to be Productive at Work When There is Nothing To Do


Office means busy time for most of the people but some days there is just no work to do.

The mails have been answered, all the papers have been neatly filed, reports have been written and submitted and it looks like suddenly we have nothing left to do.

Boredom is not an easy thing to handle and even the boss might not like to see the employee sitting idle.

Even though your work is complete, the boss will not accept this explanation if you come in his bad books. Your reputation might suffer, the appraisal might get affected and your morale may go down.

So what can be done that you stay productive even when you don’t have much or nothing to do at workplace? Let us have a look:-

how be productive at workHave Nothing To Do? Ways to Stay Productive at Work:

1. Read about industry:

It is always better to stay informed about the industry that you are working in. Idle time at office can be utilized to read about the latest happenings, upcoming events etc.

You can use this information while conversing with your colleagues, boss, clients. It can also be used to plan about the future of the organization.

2. Brainstorm with the colleagues:

Some jobs need discussions at length, like creative writing, advertisements, new project planning etc. You can use this free time to build a rapport with your colleagues and discuss ideas at the same time.

It helps in building team spirit, trust and mutual understandings. Also, the boss will be more than happy to see you taking the initiative.

3. Organize your desktop:

Clutter invites negative energy and makes the pace of working slow. Usually, we keep on postponing this work for some other day but that day is today. You can use this time to organize your table and drawers.

Some important papers might be filed or waste may be discarded.

At the end, you will feel satisfied and also it will help you the next day as organized surroundings help you in finding things quickly.

4. Update the Company’s social media:

In today’s time, every organization is socially active on internet. It has own website, blogs, pages etc. They need to be updated regularly as outdated information on such platforms may give out a bad impression.

Hence, this time can be used for the same. You could write an article, a new blog post or even an upcoming event on the company’s site.

It helps to stay connected with the outside world and kill time at the same time.

5. Create Project:

Impressing the boss is something that everyone wishes to do. However, this cannot be done only by taking initiatives and by planning in advance.

This time can be best utilized for this purpose. Problem evaluation, brainstorming, new ideas generation can be done.

6. Planning for succession:

This is basically a document that takes your detailed job description, bifurcates it and then frame lines the tasks that are to be done per month.

It helps in handling the situation in case the employee has to leave the job or be at a place other than the current workplace, in near future. It has to be specific and not vague.

7. Mail organization:

Mails are a crucial part of every organization communication system. Even though you might have archived them, there are always some mails waiting to be organized.

They can be those related to a tricky circumstance, a HR conflict or anything like appreciation letter or testimonial from a client.

Saving them on the company’s drive or shared systems will help in case they are needed in the future by anyone, including you.

8. Contact key persons:

Clients, stakeholders often need assurance about a project or investment. This is the best time to do that.

Just call them and after the usual greetings, small talk, divert the conversation to their feedback about the organization’s project, any new idea that might be helpful to the organization. This helps you by building relationships and trust.

9. Networking within the organization:

If you have some time with you, you can just go around and learn about the different departments of the organization and gain some new skills from them.

They might need some help too at that point, and your help will definitely be appreciated and returned the next time you need it. You will also build new friends within the organization by doing this.

10. Read:

Sometimes there might be situation wherein you don’t feel like going around or there is not much time to start a brainstorming session.

In such cases, you can just use this spare time to brush your skills and update yourself. You can browse some professional journals, newsletters or updates about the current scenario.

It can also be used to study about a new aspect that further widens your knowledge base. This is the time to gain something beneficial and helpful.

This helps you in your potential job prospects, helps you develop personally and professionally and also adds value to your current job.


This might sound a bit different from other points but this is one of the best ways to spend some time at hand. You can just sit at your desk and close your eyes to focus.

Do not fall asleep and just introspect. This helps in calming you and bringing your focus to the current needed position.

However, make sure your boss is not around as he will not like to see you sitting with eyes closed at the work desk.


Sometimes, we have finished an assignment and do not wish to start another one soon and it leaves us with some spare time at hand.

This can be used to renew our energies, keep ourselves informed about the new market scenarios as well as to get back our focus. Ways might differ from one person to another but the essence remains the same.

Everyone wishes to use the time productively and not to waste it. Above listed methods might be used to kill time and utilize it effectively and efficiently at the same time. The list is endless and new points can be added as per own need and preference.

The key is to use it in a way that we do not feel guilty about it or regret it at a later stage. Hope the above would be of some help and you will have something to do at your office in your spare time.