Making the Most of Computer Down Time

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Error-101407_1280For some managers, Internet access is a crucial part of getting things done. So, what happens when your server crashes? What’s your backup plan?

If it’s around midday, there’s always your lunch break. But if it’s early morning or mid-afternoon, you might want to have a few options that are more productive—for you and your staff.

Here are some ideas:

  • Catch up on paperwork. There are probably schedules to review—including vacations and other requests for time off—as well as reimbursement documents, invoices, etc.
  • Tidy up your desk. Take that 15 or 20 minutes and clear away the clutter. If the system comes up sooner than that, don’t stop. The reorganization and the feeling of accomplishment will help you be much more productive, and you’ll regain whatever time you “lost” by neatening up. Also, your staff might follow your lead, and you can have a morale-boosting cleanup session during otherwise fallow minutes.
  • Talk with your associates. You can have an impromptu department meeting, or just engage employees one on one or in a small group. Make the conversation meaningful, though: Focus on an objective or a nettlesome problem to spark a casual brainstorming session.
  • Check in with your boss. If the system’s down, the honchos are not immune. Bring him or her up to speed on what’s been going on, and find out what projects and initiatives are in the pipeline so you can start thinking about them now and hit the ground running when they come to fruition.