boredWe have all been there. Whether it’s working in the public or private sector, some people find themselves underworked, so end up sitting at their jobs with not much to do. As a result, once you finish your workload, you are stuck clock staring a clock.  This is particularly challenging when you have a mental illness that causes your mind to work faster, and accomplish more, than your average colleague.

Everyone works at a different pace, some of us manic types can perform faster than others.  It becomes frustrating, not to mention unfair. If you complete your work in the time your co-worker takes double the time, then why should you be penalized for your ability to work fast and have a higher productivity rate? Why should you have to sit at your desk doing nothing because you accomplished your work faster than the next guy?  If you ask for more work, but receive the same paycheck, that’s not fair either.  So what do you do? Are you supposed to pretend you’re busy?

Here are 5 things to do when you find yourself staring down the clock:

  1. It’s All Pretend: Toss a bunch of papers on your desk like you are swamped but really periodically surf the internet. People who still don’t have their work done waste time on the internet, so you have more than a right to look up the latest Hollywood gossip, or catch up on world news.  Just be careful you don’t get caught doing it for long periods of time.  Jump back and forth from your “paperwork” while enjoying your favorite go-to sites.
  2. Obstacles: What if your job blocks you from entertaining internet sites like Facebook, twitter, or the latest scandalous release of a sex tape? (Ok, none of us would do that because it’s a form of sexual harassment in the workplace.) What do you do?
  3. Alternative Methods: So your internet outlet is blocked by your employer.  Now what?  If you have access to another personal computer, bring it.  Use your ipad to pass the time.  Just be careful no one sees you on it all the time.
  4. Socialize: Find other coworkers in the same boat as you and socialize a bit.  You are not the only one pretending to work.  You are not the only one that is dying of boredom.  There are others out there that are not working under the radar, trust me.
  5. Little Field Trips: Food or a cool beverage is a great distraction.  And it’s enjoyable. Take trips to the kitchen, make yourself a healthy snack, then go back to your desk and chill.  Small bits, pause, small bits, pause. No need to hurry, you got plenty of time to enjoy it!

It would be nice if we lived in a work world that was not ruled by a clock. Unless you work for yourself, you are going to be faced with underworked situations. Do your best to find alternate methods to pass the time. If you are ruled by a clock, I don’t think using work time to handle personal affairs is wrong.  Just keep it on the down low. As long as you get your work done, that’s all that matters, right?

Bored at work image available from Shutterstock.