Nothing to do. Seriously?

For the past few years I haven’t stopped. My action folder has always contained plenty of tasks, and there has always been several projects that need progressing in some shape or form. In other words, whenever one task is completed, there is always another waiting for me.

Today I can honestly say, I have nothing to do.

There are things I should be doing, but I’m relying on a few inputs from other’s before I can move forward, and I’d be more than likely wasting my time until the project specification is clear. So I’m at a loss. What to do?

I have recently been promoted, and I’m in the process of being trained in a new and exciting role. I’ve gone from being the Senior Planner at a large food factory, to being the group-wide network logistics planner. The scope is huge. The opportunities for making business improvements are many. And right now I have bugger all to do.

You see the role has been designed by a team of business improvement experts. They have come into the business and overhauled the logistic operations, and my role will be at the fulcrum of the new management systems. It’s massively exciting but it’s all new. And as today my “mentor” is in meetings all day, and I’ve batted off all the tasks I’ve been given, I’m without anything to do.

It’s killing me. I cannot understand how people get through the day with nothing to do. We have people in our organisation with poor line managers who openly admit that most days they have no work to do. I find this baffling. How can you sit at your desk, at a loose end, and not take the initiative to go and find and solve a problem? In every business there are necessary tasks not being done.

If day after day, you just sit there at work pretending to look busy, while knowing full-well that you’ve nothing to do, then what defence will you have if one day a director passes your desk and asks, “what does this person do? Why are we paying their salary?”

You get up and you go and find something not being done. Take on a responsibility. Make an improvement. Find someone who’s battling with an old creaky spreadsheet and design them a new one. Run some reports, check them, are our business assumptions correct? Help someone who’s stuck trying to reconcile an inventory. There is always something you can do.

Self-worth is all about how much value you contribute to the people in your life: your relationship, your family, your friends, your employers and your colleagues. If you don’t present any value to one or more of these groups, how can you be maximising your self-worth?

Anyway, that’s enough from me, I’m going to find something useful to do.