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4 Ways to Stay Productive

Congratulations! You’ve just landed your dream job or A job - pretty much the same thing these days, right? And as you’re struggling to navigate these new waters, you may soon discover that there are two and only two states of being in this working world:

1) You have absolutely everything to do.
2) You have absolutely nothing to do.

If you’re new to the workplace or even the industry, your supervisors may still be determining what you can and can’t handle with your level of experience. So you may find yourself frequently in state of being #2.

When you find yourself in this state, don’t be like my friend’s intern. She’s frustrated because she frequently finds him sitting at his desk reading his Kindle or working on homework for his class. When she asks what he should be doing, he flat out says he has nothing to do. An internship is an especially good time to rake in the experience, and he’s wasting away a valuable opportunity at a pretty prestigious company.

Instead, here are a couple of things you can do to keep yourself busy:

#1 Ask for something to do.

This may seem pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s not. Your supervisor is a busy person, and he or she can’t always keep up with what you’re doing and how long it should take you to do it. He or she might be grateful to learn you can take more things off his or her plate. If by chance they have nothing for you, try asking someone from a different department (but be careful not to step on any toes). You might benefit from a new experience.

#2 Do some industry research.

In this digital world, every field is rapidly changing and expanding as new technology emerges. Keep on top of trends by reading articles in industry magazines - both print and digital. I like to start my day scanning the headlines in magazines like AdAge and Forbes for articles on social media and marketing trends. Sometimes it gives me new ideas for the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Facebook or Twitter pages and marketing plans.

#3 Clean up.

It only takes a week or two for that email inbox to get out of control. Go through and delete everything unnecessary and file away the important. You might find something that you missed, and you’ll be surprised at how much better you (and your IT specialist) will feel when that abyss is sorted through and deleted. When you’re done with that, you can start organizing all the files on your hard drive. That should keep you busy for a couple of months.

#4 Make a wish list.

It never fails that the best ideas come when I’m smack in the middle of state #1. This always leaves me thinking, “Man, I wish I had more time to do ____________.” So I’ve started a wish list in the back of my notebook of things I would do if there was more time do them. If by chance I ever cross off the last thing on my urgent “to do” list, I’ll go straight there to work on some dream projects. Don’t have a wish list? Then take some time to really analyze your company or department and think about ways things could be accomplished more effectively or more efficiently. Taking initiative will definitely get you noticed by those higher up.

So what about you? How do you stay productive? Tweet me your answers @MemphisChamber or leave a comment below.


Jenny C. Fish
Communications Specialist
Greater Memphis Chamber

Posted: 7/2/2014 8:25:55 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: productivity, professional, young

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