Home' D Fine Redland Lifestyle Magazine : December 2009 Contents 18 d'fine magazine December 8, 2009
Most people have a quiet day at work now
and then, but with businesses looking
to cut costs wherever possible, you don't
want to appear idle for too long or you may find
it's your job on the chopping block.
Don't risk getting caught on Facebook or playing
online sudoku activities that could potentially land
you in hot water instead, use your time to improve
your workplace, personal workspace, industry
knowledge and career prospects.
Indulge your inner control freak: Most of us
have at least one office protocol, event or situation
that we hate.
Why not use your free time to come up with ways
to fix it? If you think there is a better way to allocate
work, organise databases, run meetings, access
vital information or streamline procedures, then
write it down and run it past your co-workers.
If they agree that your ideas have merit, draw up
a memo and give it to your boss.
Anyone can find problems but if you can come
up with solutions, your boss and co-workers are
sure to be grateful.
Clear out the crap: If you're organised, you'll be
more efficient. And being able to put your hands
on the thing you want straight away makes you
look confident and competent. Go through your
inbox and other mail folders and address anything
you've missed, delete anything you don't need and
place anything important in neat, labelled folders.
Do the same for your hard drive if there's
something you don't need, get rid of it. You
shouldn't have to scroll through hundreds of
irrelevant files to find the one you want.
Be prepared: Next, stock up on stationery.
There's nothing worse than running out of post-its
or not being able to find a pen that works at a crucial
moment.If the stationery cupboard is looking bare,
let the necessary people know or offer to go out
and get supplies yourself.The fresh air will do you
good.And if there are forms you use regularly, make
sure you have an adequate supply.
Keep in contact: Having an up-to-date contact
list is vital regardless of what industry you work in.
It ensures you always know who to talk to and
how to reach them.
The old adage "it's not what you know but who
you know"has never been more accurate, so make
sure you know the right people and they know you.
If there is someone you haven't spoken to in a while,
make contact; if you think they could be important
for business, organise a meeting.
Check out the competition: If you still have free
time, spend it getting to know your competitors.
A few quick phone calls and internet searches
should help you learn more about how they
operate, who their clients are and what forms of
communication they use.
Do they have interesting links on their website?
Do they offer their customers a better deal or
market themselves more intelligently than your
company? Are they using online media effectively?
Checking out your competitors may give you
some ideas for your company or even encourage
you to improve your own work practices. So turn
yourself into the "go to" person for industry
information -- at best you'll become invaluable to
your boss and at the very least you'll have some
interesting and relevant conversation starters
should you bump into them in the hall.
Become a visionary: If no work has landed on
your desk by now,it's either a very quiet day at work
or there's something very wrong . . . But don't panic,
use this time to imagine the future.
What could your company be? What role would
you like to play? Think big, then set goals working
backwards, considering the steps you and your
employer need to take to reach those goals.
Do you need to enrol in a short course to improve
your skills? Are there new technologies or business
opportunities that can help your company move
forward to become (or cement their place as) the
leader in the industry?
You may soon find you have a list of ideas or
suggestions to give your boss -- and a tick beside
your name the next time there's an opportunity for
Being proactive, organised and solutions-
focused will not only please management and help
secure your position, it will keep your mind busy,
positive and open to ideas -- qualities that are just as
beneficial to you as they are to your employer.
How to stay busy at work
Megan Byrne looks at how to stay busy when there's
seemingly nothing to do.
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