careers / creative juice

What to do during downtime

As we all know, there are certain times at work that are slower than others. During deadlines, you’re working at the speed of light, and it seems as though there aren’t enough minutes in the day to get it all done. After a project is shipped though, there are lulls in the frenetic pace. You find yourself with a little more time on your hands.

So, what should you do with your downtime?

Downtime is the perfect opportunity for getting things cleared out and organized before you get tossed back into the fray.

Here are some useful tips for what to do when things are slow.

Organize your files

  • Clean up your source files. If you’re working with software that has layered files, make sure your layers are named and grouped in a way that makes sense. The next person who works on that file will thank you for saving them time and headaches.
  • You know that mountain of paperwork on your desk? The one that comes dangerously close to toppling over every time someone walks by? Now is a good time to sort through that. File the important documents and recycle the rest. Once your desk is clear, you’ll be more than ready for the next project.
  • Don’t forget to clear out unnecessary emails,too! They clog up your inbox and make finding the important ones really difficult.

Support your team member or mentor a junior designer/dev

If you notice that one of your co-workers is struggling to get their work done, why not give them a hand? Whether that’s assisting with the workload or mentoring a junior designer or dev, it all furthers the success of the project.

Learn, learn, learn about the industry!

When you’re busy, you barely have enough time for life, let alone learning more about the industry. During downtime, dive into articles on Medium, FastCo Design, and other tech or design news sites. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a leg up on what’s happening in technology and design.

At home, take the opportunity to prepare before the next phase of crunch time. Here are some things you can do to get ready.

Brush up your skills

  • The pace of technology is racing ahead. Don’t get left behind! Give yourself a project to work on that will hone your skills in an area you feel you’re weak in.
  • Learn a new software. Not only will you be able to utilize this for a new project, it’ll also make you more marketable for your next job. You can take classes at, Udemy and more.
  • Don’t like online classes? Register for workshops and classes at General Assembly, University of Washington,or SVC. Keeping up on UX Design and Dev skills can make the difference in winning your next job opportunity.

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