Every company has downtime, but finding things to do during a slow day – you are, after all, on the clock – can sometimes be a challenge. This brief list of activities to perform during a lull in business can not only fill your time constructively, but can also assist in keeping up productivity when business picks back up.
Clean Out Your Inbox
Check back through your email (sorting it by date if you use an email client, such as Mozilla Thunderbird, can help with task priorities) and see if there’s anything you missed – whether you had a customer reach out to you with a question or request, a co-worker asking for your help on a process, or just weeding out spam, keeping a clean inbox can reduce stress and increase productivity. Starting from the earliest and working your way up, respond to any emails that need addressing, and add any tasks or requests you have to respond to into your task management software (like Wunderlist or Gqueues).
This goes for paper inboxes, too. Go through your paper inbox and make sure there’s nothing that needs to be done – and if there is, see to it and stick it in your outbox.
Review Activity Flows
If your business uses BPM software, review your activity flows and ensure that they are proceeding smoothly and as planned. If a task has been left undone, address it promptly and resolve it yourself if you can, or work with the person to whom the task was assigned to see it completed. Reviewing activity flows can also help managers determine what training their employees may need if particular areas are prone to slack or lack of attention (this might indicate that the employees assigned to a particular area are unsure of how they should execute their assigned tasks).
A slow day is an ideal time to generate more leads for your business. Get on the phone or log into your email inbox or client and contact current customers to ask if they may be willing to give you referrals. If they are, ask what resources they may need to provide you with referrals, whether that’s a lead box at their own business or a description of your company for them to post on their blog, social media outlets, or website.
Make sure to take a glance at your social media outlets as well to see who is interacting with your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, or Ello pages, and devise a way to reach out to those people to see if they can benefit from your company’s expertise. You can also use social media as a way to monitor customer happiness with your product or service, and report any concerns or successes to your team, managers, or employees.
Check In With Your Co-Workers
Make sure to check in with your co-workers or employees to see if they need any assistance with tasks, projects, or any other assignments, particularly if you know an individual or team is working on a large or pressing project. It will not only give you something to do, but your co-workers will be grateful if you’re able to help them – any opportunities for team building that you receive are also opportunities for advancement in your company or profession.
Write a Blog Post
If your company runs a blog, spend some time writing a blog post for the company blog. You might talk about a recent achievement for your company, goals that have been set and the company’s progress towards them, or a few words about your recent softball game and cookout with another company (complete with photos, of course), or your company’s employee of the month. Share the blog post through your social media outlets to generate discussion and interest in your company – and potentially boost leads and revenue.
No matter how much downtime you have, there’s always something else to be done, and a worker who makes the most of company downtime will likely find themselves the object of positive attention from their co-workers, managers, or employees.