Taking a few minutes to make yourself a cup of coffee can help you think about what you need to do next, and if you sip your coffee in the office kitchen, you could end up having a productive conversation with one of your co-workers. Even if you get nothing work-related out of it, at least you get coffee, which is enough of a reward by itself.
Even if your workspace is already organized, re-organize! Look up some organization ideas on Pinterest that encourage productivity and incorporate them into your current set-up. You can also spend some time in your office’s supply closet, restocking all of your paper clips and potentially finding some cool new supplies to adorn your desk with.
Even though you’re not in school anymore, you should never stop learning about your field and your company. One of the best ways to do this is to attend conferences and webinars, and researching these at work is something to do that’s fun, yet productive. If you find one or two you like, you can look up all the details so you’ll be completely prepared to present this idea to your boss.
Step outside the office and take a walk around the block. Getting some fresh air will help clear your head and will give you the opportunity to think about any upcoming projects you have in the near future. If you want to up the intensity of your walk and burn a few calories, sprint up and down some stairs a few times to get your heart and mind racing.
If you feel like you don’t have anything to do (or if you have too much to do and you’re feeling too overwhelmed to start on a single project), it can help to write everything down. Go through your email and calendar and write down anything you can or should be doing and get a headstart on it. You never know; you may find something to do that you completely forgot about!
If you find that you really don’t have anything to do, talk to your boss to find some new tasks for you to complete. You don’t want to waste your time and your company’s time by spending your whole day browsing the web - and taking the initiative to talk to your boss about it will definitely earn you some brownie points.
Podcasts are great because not only are they entertaining, but you can also learn something new. NPR has thousands of educational podcasts that you can listen to to learn about everything from economics to astronomy, so you’ll be sure to find one that piques your interest and relates to your field.
Even if you don’t have anything to work on, it doesn’t mean that your co-workers don’t either. Either instant message or go up to your co-workers in person and ask them if there’s a project you can help them with. You won’t be bored and your co-worker won’t be overwhelmed, so it's a win-win for everybody!
Chances are, you primarily talk to your work spouse and one or two other co-workers at your office on a regular basis, so you don’t really know some of your co-workers all that well. Ask one of those co-workers to grab coffee or take a walk with you, get to know them a bit better, and you may find that cultivating that relationship pays off in the future.
Going out to lunch with your co-workers helps you get to know each in a more casual setting, and you have the option of simply chatting about your personal lives or talking about a project you’re working on together. Plus, you get to eat delicious food (and maybe drink a margarita or two)!