I don't do boredom well. I'm the kind of girl who needs to do something - anything - that at least minimally engages my brain bit nearly all the time. For example, I can't just sit and watch TV; I need to read a book/talk on the phone/do back flips while I'm watching TV. I really can't concentrate if I'm just trying to watch a show.
Due to my boss' medically-induced absence, the volume of my work assignments has been a bit...lacking, to say the least. This makes for a long, long eight-hour day. But this is the second time I've gone through a serious downtime at this job, so I was prepared for this one before it started. Rather than sitting at my desk staring into space or picking my nose or what have you, I came up with a list of (mostly) work-friendly diversions. Some of them even work in real life, so I thought I'd share.
- Books - Books are almost always my first line of boredom defense. It's a bit difficult to look like you're doing legitimate work when you have a paperback sitting open on your desk, though, which is where...
- Kindle - ...The Kindle app comes in. I downloaded the Kindle app to my work computer so it looks like I'm doing real work on my computer while I read whatever crappy Christian romance novel I unwittingly downloaded because it was free and the book description didn't really clue me in on what it was really about.
- Tanga - I just recently discovered Tanga, and I'm loving the puzzles they have. I'm a major crossword fan, but these puzzles have expanded my puzzling range. They're slightly more challenging than your average crossword, that's for sure. I have noticed that I'm getting better at solving them, though, so maybe they just take practice (reading the comments helps, too).
- iGoogle - If you haven't set up an iGoogle page, you should. I have my Gmail account, my Google reader, CNN and New York Times headlines, the weather, and several assorted games all on one page that shows up as "Google." I'm probably not outsmarting the IT people with that one, but it makes me feel like I am.
- Online shopping - This is one that can anger the IT gods, so you should use it sparingly. But sometimes I read a blog post about a deal that sounds too good to pass up, so I check it out. And then get sucked in to some major window shopping by whatever website I'm on. I try to do this right before lunch or the end of the day when I think it's natural for employees to be screwing around.
- AboutOne - I told you the other day that I'm having a love affair with AboutOne, but that it's a bit time-consuming. When I have some time that needs to be consumed, I'll spend a few minutes adding some contacts or updating a family member's information.
- Facebook - Oh, Facebook. The mother of all time-sucks. This is another one that has some potential to get you in trouble. Luckily (I guess), I can (kinda sorta) legitimately use Facebook in the course of doing some parts of my job. That's my
excusejustification for being on there, and I'm sticking to it.
- Wandering the halls - This technique is a classic that dates back to my high school days. When all else fails, get up and wander around until you find someone you can
botherchat with for a bit. If you take a couple flights of stairs, it totally counts as exercise, too.
So there you have it. My non-expert, non-exhaustive list of stuff to do when you're bored and need to look like you're being productive. Did I miss anything?