Author Topic: Maximizing Downtime at Work  (Read 2506 times)

debtaholic

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Maximizing Downtime at Work
« on: April 18, 2019, 09:42:35 AM »
Ive managed to reorient myself (at least for the last couple months), have embraced an MMM lifestyle and have gone from a negative monthly cash flow to saving over $1500 each month the last 3 months. So far so good but I dont want to slack off and revert to old habits.

One area of my life I wanted to optimize was downtime at work. I like my job but fairly often there are big chunks of downtime where there is really not much to do. Most of the staff (even the gogetters) take this as an opportunity to socialize, take longer lunches, gossip etc.

So far Ive been fairly proactive at finding work that needs to be done, even in other departments, but the ROI on this extra work is thus far negligible (I do a lot but most of it is a waste)

So How can I be maximize my downtime?

1 thought I had was to keep a running blog, online store etc. and update, improve, write etc. whenever I have a hole in the day.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 09:46:55 AM »
Copy interesting web articles/ebooks into a word document so it looks like you're working on something when you're really just reading.

I used to do this when I was an employee. My company had a stupid policy that once you exceeded 125% of your yearly billable target your bonus wouldn't get any bigger. So obviously I just stopped working, and did this all the time.

KathrinS

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 09:50:56 AM »
Hi, sounds like youve done really well recently!

Im by no means an expert, but whenever I have down time during working hours, I try to do three things, in order of importance.

1. Since I am still quite new to it, I have been learning as much as I can about investing. This has led me to find MMM and index funds with low OCF. This will have a great impact on my future returns and is probably the most efficient.

2. I try to keep up to date with my industry and learn something new about my field, in order to get better at it. Depends on your job, of course, but it cant hurt to know more.

3. I research side hustles, as you mentioned. They usually arent as lucrative as peoples main job, but might be nice for variety.

J Boogie

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 10:16:50 AM »
Do you have a decent chance of getting a 1 or 2 day remote policy instated?

Then you can arrange to do household stuff or hobbies in your downtime after going hard in the office all week.

effigy98

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 10:47:45 AM »
I code for side hustles which are remote so I can do them from anywhere (including work)... $200-300 an hour and makes me feel like i have more control over my pay.

I get a lot of questions on how to get these: I got started by doing small side gigs for pennies on those code for hire type websites... Eventually clients start depending on you and you can raise rates. Think of the low paid projects as trials, and then once you build infrastructure for them that they depend on, they will pay you a decent rate. The other way is to find local remote work code jobs by sending emails to recruiters and small business. Say you can only work at night for a few hours and if they have any work. Also, asking clients to spread the word if they have friends that need work done. You might get 10 or so clients (or more) doing small little jobs, but eventually you will get one big client and can go 4 hour work week mode and get that down to 1 or 2 who have the best reward vs time ratio. I would say it takes about 1 year to do this process and not easy but achievable. If you don't know how to code it's probably about a year to get decent enough to do these little side gigs and there is plenty of free resources on the web to learn any language, just takes grit.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 10:56:04 AM by effigy98 »

debtaholic

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 11:04:32 AM »
Thanks for the input. 2 days a week remote would be perfect as I would be able to smash out 3 hard days and then have 4 to myself. But unfortunately this isnt a possibility.

It irks me quite a bit how inefficient the workplace is (not mine in particular but just workplace in general) as it would be amazing for me to have 3-4 day workweeks. I would get the exact same job done and be far happier / more inclined to stay etc. I do see it a bit from the employer side as youd likely just have a situation where most employees worked at their same slowish rate and you lost productivity.

Anyway. I can still take advantage by working hard when I need to and taking advantage of the downtime.

I work in marketing - mid-level type job - but Im not passionate about it. I know more than enough to be the manager/director at my company but after a certain point its just networking, politics, client relations and sales that get you there (dont really care to get into all that for a meagre bump in salary and way more hours/stress) I would rather just stay technical and solve problems. So not sure that ongoing learning at work in my particular field would be all that helpful to the bottom line.

I did send out a lengthy email proposing a couple areas where I could explore additional education (on employers dime) and they said we could revisit it during our strategic planning. Would definitely hop on any free education/conferences etc.

debtaholic

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 11:16:30 AM »
effigy98, is this your primary income or do you have a 9-5 as well?

effigy98

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 03:57:57 PM »
Have a normal day job, but I can usually do it in about 2-3 hours of actual work on most days if there are no fire drills. The problem is they want you to be butt in seat to manage perception so the slower developers see you are working the same hours as them to keep their morale up. It is really stupid, but that is corporate "office space" life. Since we are all connected to the internet I can do internet work for side hustles pretty easy with the rest of the time and still manage perception that I am "butt in seat". If the company paid more for me doing additional work, I could work more hours, but when I did (for many years) I really felt taken advantage of. We all get basically the same wages and slightly different bonuses, especially with all this diversity push, they are scared to pay anyone different. Doing side hustles fixes all that feeling of being taken advantage of. I still rather work 2 days a week instead, get paid the same, and have the rest of the week off then doing side hustles as they are still mentally draining work.

Brother Esau

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2019, 05:26:20 PM »
Use that time to educate yourself ;-)

FireAnt

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2019, 05:38:31 PM »
I use downtime to learn more about FIRE through blogs, forums (yes I read this during work!), etc. Taught myself a lot on investing. I also have started researching travel hacking since traveling is a passion of mine.

Garrett B.

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2019, 12:09:08 PM »
I use downtime to learn more about FIRE through blogs, forums (yes I read this during work!), etc. Taught myself a lot on investing. I also have started researching travel hacking since traveling is a passion of mine.
What's "travel hacking"?

mathlete

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2019, 12:22:24 PM »
Read!

I know so much more about so many topics thanks to downtime at work.

bacchi

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2019, 01:22:26 PM »
I used to do this when I was an employee. My company had a stupid policy that once you exceeded 125% of your yearly billable target your bonus wouldn't get any bigger. So obviously I just stopped working, and did this all the time.

Ha. A company I worked with had a similar policy. When their consultants reached a certain bonus tier, their additional pay per hour over 40 went down to something absurd like $3/hour (they were W2 with a bonus). As you can imagine, there wasn't much overtime when the top bonus tier was reached.

FireAnt

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2019, 02:41:20 PM »
I use downtime to learn more about FIRE through blogs, forums (yes I read this during work!), etc. Taught myself a lot on investing. I also have started researching travel hacking since traveling is a passion of mine.
What's "travel hacking"?

Signing up for credit cards for the airline miles and using them to book cheap/free flights, hotels, etc. There is a free webinar that teaches you how to do it: https://www.travelmiles101.com/

lollylegs

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Re: Maximizing Downtime at Work
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2019, 04:37:16 PM »
I just signed up for a course that I'm going work on at work in my 'downtime'. I have an idea for a retirement side-gig so thought I'd do a course to help me get prepared.