When the pressure is off, it’s easy to let any little thing distract you. Rather, write down your two to three most important tasks and any smaller ones you would like to check off your to-do list. You have to be more deliberate about planning than you would during a busy period. This approach can turn a potentially boring day into a series of mini sprints.
Slower times at work present an opportunity to enhance your entire life, if you take advantage of them. Consider professional development activities that you wouldn’t normally have time for and add them into your daily plans. These might include attending an industry conference, meeting up with a former boss or brushing up your LinkedIn profile. You are making an investment of time that will either help you in your current job or open up future doors.
Off-peak times also offer a chance to get home & office administrative work done before emergencies arise. Being proactive keeps you from having to squeeze in these life maintenance activities at other times when you feel exceptionally tight on time.
If you typically decline when colleagues ask you to join them for lunch, this is the time to say, “Yes!” You can get to know your coworkers through lunch, coffee, or simply stopping by their office when you’re not rushed. Building rapport in this way paves the way for effective collaboration down the road and give you some relationship capital for times when work is more stressful.
Instead of frittering away time when work is less pressured, choose to remain focused. Then reallocate the extra capacity to activities that would be stressful to fit in during busy times when work is really busy but feel hugely satisfying to accomplish when you have breathing room.
It is important to manage your time in an intentional way and maximize your output through not only the peaks but also the troughs.