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Thread: Idle Time at Work

  1. #1
    je55ie
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    Idle Time at Work

    I have more idle time in my current position than I've ever had and I am struggling with filling in the time. Looking for some creative suggestions. I've always had long list of "back burner" things to catch up on in past jobs, so this is a new challenge for me. If you've been in a similar situation, please let me know what you came up with!

    Things I've done/am doing:

    -asking for more work. I request projects more/work regularly with my boss and on my monthly report.
    -innovating more work on my own. This has added a lot of work for me over the past year, and while I still brainstorm regularly, Iím out of ideas.
    -improving exciting processes. Iíve re-done, re-organized, and re-made everything I can think of. I got perfect marks on my review. I canít think of what else to improve.
    -offering more help to co-workers. Nearly all say no. I donít want to be insulting either, and most people say they are so busy and I always have time to help. Also, I work in a union environment, so I need to be careful about working out of class or behaving in a way that others might view as me being competitive for their job.
    -chatting/trying to get to know co-workers better. This has made things more interesting, but only takes out a portion of my day. I have several hours to fill every day.
    -goofing off/doing non-work related things. This fills up a good portion of my day. While I feel lucky to feel like I have the time to take care of personal things during the day, at some point it's theft. I feel guilty. How much idle time do other people have? What am I doing wrong (because everyone else is so busy)? Or is everyone just saying they are busy and I am too naive to go with the flow?
    -taking a work related class or training online during work time. This is what I am focusing on now. Even if I do manage to find some sort of job-related training the company is willing to let me do on work time, that will still only take up a few hours a week, but it would help and I am looking forward to making this happen.

  2. #2
    Scoe141
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    What time of work do you do? It would probably help us better.

    Could you get involved in any community related events? i.e. volunteer How about any special long term projects?

    It sounds like your plate is full as it is. How much work do you want to do?

  3. #3
    je55ie
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    Well, have to be physically at the office for 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day, so I can't get out into the community. I work in a clerical/support role among government professionals, so my job class disqualifies me from many committees and projects outside my unit. I work for the smallest unit in the department, so we have a limited scope. My plate is nowhere near full.

  4. #4
    Scoe141
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    The only other suggestion that I can personally give you is, have you thought about a career change? Something with more responsibility?

  5. #5
    je55ie
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    Oddly enough, this is a new career for me. I spent 3 years working towards getting into this more respected position and I am in a much higher income bracket, so all that is good. Late 2017 I'll start looking for a new position because I'll be vested then. I just have to get there. My former position/career was far more demanding, but it also paid significantly less. I don't know where I will want to go/what I want to do in 2017. It would probably help if I did. I suppose I can spend more time contemplating that.

  6. #6
    annie24
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    I would try doing some online software training related to your job description. Whether learning how to use it more efficiently or maybe learning a new software program that would be useful for your job. Ask your boss if you can do more, pick up another project?

    Do you think things might pick up in a few months?

  7. #7
    Harrowdown
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie24 [Register to see the link]
    I would try doing some online software training related to your job description. Whether learning how to use it more efficiently or maybe learning a new software program that would be useful for your job. Ask your boss if you can do more, pick up another project?

    Do you think things might pick up in a few months?
    Absolutely this. Teach yourself some basic programming. Start automating tasks at work via programs. You'll have more options once you have some professional programming experience. Keep it mind it can be anything from websites, creative designs/graphic designs. It will definitely keep you busy and maybe you'll enjoy it too. If it you don't like it then at least it is something extra you can put on your cv.

  8. #8
    ChellyV
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    I work in a similar environment and just waiting too to be vested.

    What I do on my idle time (60% idle and 40% work, mostly due to the speed that I have gained doing this work), read computer books online, goal was to become a pro in excel, and visio. Now, I think I am, even teaching my boss some tricks. Participate in every company event as a volunteer, bringing a book or two.

    And it sure is a struggle, other people like being idle, I certainly do not.

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