Having some free time at work is like finding a hidden treasure in today’s busy work world. True, but did you know that two out of five workers spend two hours daily on social media instead of working?
Of course, many workers use their free time browsing social media or personal emails on their breaks. However, maximizing your downtime can make a huge difference in your life.
And that’s what this post is about. You’ll learn productive ways to spend your free time at work. Ready to discover practical tips and activities to make you more efficient during work breaks?
What to Do in Free Time in the Office?
Based on Udemy’s 2018 Workplace Distraction Report, over 50% of surveyed U.S. office workers used social media during work, and 86% found Facebook distracting.
During your free time at work, you can get more done and also find time to relax. Below are some easy tips to help you make the most of your free time at work:
1. Embrace the Power of Micro-Tasks
- Organizing Your Workspace:
Being productive during your office downtime is a wise choice. You can start by tidying up your workspace. And that involves clearing your desk and arranging your belongings.
When you get that settled, you’ll notice a significant increase in your productivity. That’s because a well-organized area enables you to work more efficiently, making the most of your free time at work.
- Clearing Your Email Inbox
Consider tackling your email inbox during your free in the office. Managing a few emails or unsubscribing from newsletters can help you keep your inbox under control. Of course, this small effort can save you time and make your workday smoother.
- Updating Your To-Do List
You can make the most of your office free time by updating your to-do list. Take a moment to go through your tasks and set your priorities.
Doing that will keep you organized and help you handle your workload well. While that action may seem simple, it influences your productivity in your typical workday.
2. Engage in Professional Development
- Online Courses and Webinars
You must have heard this saying, “Time is money”. That’s to tell you that time is a precious asset you have– and must be used judiciously. One of the productive ways to use your free time at work is to engage in professional development online.
Consider taking courses and attending webinars to expand your knowledge and skills. Besides, investing your time in learning is vital. It’s a valuable way to stay updated with trends in your industry and further your career.
- Read Industry-Related Articles
Also, you can boost your professional growth by reading industry-related articles online in your spare time. On top of that, staying updated with the latest news and insights can improve your expertise and knowledge.
Consequently, that keeps you competitive in your field and enables you to make valuable contributions to your work.
- Skill-Building Exercises:
You can hone skills and engage in online professional development by spending your work-free time well. Beyond doubt, you can practice and improve skills like writing, coding, or problem-solving.
All these enhance your expertise and prepare you for career growth and challenges in your field.
3. Strengthen Workplace Relationships
- Networking Within the Office
Networking is one of the productive ways to spend your free time at work. That involves connecting, chatting, and collaborating with colleagues to forge strong professional bonds.
You can boost your office relationships through in-house networking in your free time. Undoubtedly, this promotes teamwork and opens doors to growth and project collaboration.
- Mentoring and Knowledge Sharing
You can strengthen your workplace bonds by mentoring and sharing your knowledge during your free time. That way, you can offer your expertise to assist colleagues or seek guidance from experienced coworkers.
Imagine you’re an experienced graphic designer. You could mentor a junior designer by sharing tips on creating compelling visuals. On the other hand, you can seek guidance from a seasoned colleague when tackling a difficult project.
Sharing knowledge fosters a positive atmosphere that drives collaboration. And that, in turn, propels everyone’s professional growth in the workplace.
- Team-Building Activities
You can make the most of your work break with productive team-building activities. Examples of such activities include:
- Group lunches,
- Collaborative projects,
- Skill workshops,
- Fitness routines, and
- Community service projects
Collectively, these improve teamwork, communication, and colleague connections. In the end, makes the workplace more enjoyable and productive.
What to Do in Free Time to Earn Money
1. Side Hustles and Freelance Opportunities
- Freelancing Platforms and Gig Economy
You can open up additional income with side hustles and freelance opportunities. When you look into freelancing platforms and the gig economy, you can find work that matches your skills and passions.
These opportunities allow you to pursue your interests, gain experience, and earn extra income alongside your main job.
- Blogging and Content Creation
Did you know you can turn your writing or creative skills into income through side gigs and freelance work? You can think about blogging and content creation on platforms like YouTube.
You can share ideas, connect with audiences, and earn while following your passion for writing and creativity.
- E-commerce and Dropshipping
Also, you can dive into e-commerce and dropshipping for side gigs. This involves opening an online store, managing e-commerce, and expanding income sources.
2. Investment and Financial Planning
You can harness your free time well by engaging in investments and financial planning. You can learn to grow wealth and secure your financial future.
And that involves discovering legit ways of earning money and expanding your financial knowledge. Undoubtedly, these efforts can be rewarding.
- Passive Income Streams
Exploring various side gigs and freelancing opportunities is an excellent way to use your free time at work. There are a lot of options you can choose from.
You can expand your income with real estate investments such as rental properties and REITs. Or you can explore stocks or peer-to-peer lending platforms for consistent returns and passive wealth.
In any case, you want to do your due diligence and know what you’re getting into.
Productive Use of Free Time
1. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques
- Meditation and Deep Breathing
You include mindfulness and relaxation exercises in your daily routine. A typical example is meditation and deep breathing. No doubt, these practices can help you reduce stress, boost focus, and foster calmness, improving your mental well-being.
- Stretching and Yoga
You add short stretching or yoga sessions to your day for body and mind relaxation. These practices boost flexibility and release tension. They also provide a peaceful break, revitalizing and improving your physical and mental well-being.
- Visualization Exercises
Engage in visualization exercises to maintain motivation and a positive outlook. You can boost your confidence and focus by mentally picturing your goals and aspirations. These methods enhance mental well-being and help achieve personal and professional goals effectively.
2. Physical Health and Wellness
Prioritize physical health and wellness by dedicating free time to exercise routines, such as short workouts or walks. These activities promote your level of energy, well-being, and a healthier lifestyle.
Thus, incorporating them into your daily schedule is a positive step towards improved physical health.
You can also improve your physical health by adjusting your workspace ergonomically. Optimize chair, desk, and computer setup. This effeorts can enhance comfort, reduce strain, and promote better posture, boosting overall well-being at work.
3. Creative Outlets
- Art and Creative Writing
Maximize leisure time with creative pursuits like art and writing. Channel your creativity, express yourself, and create unique works, enriching your free hours.
- Music and Podcast Creation
Unleash your creativity in your free time with music composition or podcast creation. Engage your artistic side, tell stories, and entertain, making productive use of your leisure while following your passions.
- Brainstorming and Innovation
Make the most of your free time by being creative with brainstorming and innovation. Use these moments to generate fresh ideas and solve work-related problems. This productive approach can lead to innovative solutions, propelling your success in professional and personal projects.
Adopting productive ways to spend free time at work can transform your skills and knowledge and translate to personal growth.
Beyond doubt, you can integrate these activities into your workday. And doing that can convert downtime into growth, boost productivity, and enhance job satisfaction.