It’s hard to stay productive when work is slow. If deadlines aren’t looming, it doesn’t take much to drift away from your to-do list and start reading the internet. There are a few ways you can keep getting things done. One is to turn a boring day into a series of mini sprints. Write down the three tasks you definitely want to get done today, and plan how much time you need for each. For example, by 11 AM you’ll finish writing that memo, by 12 you’ll file the expense report, and by 2 you’ll send next week’s meeting agenda to your boss. Slow days are also great times to catch up with colleagues. Schedule lunch with someone you haven’t talked to for a while, or get coffee with a coworker you want to know better. Another option is to use the time for professional development: Update your résumé and LinkedIn page, take an online class, or attend a conference. And don’t forget that taking a vacation is really good for you — maybe now’s the time.

Adapted from “What to Do When Work Is Slow,” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

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