How to be Productive When your Boss Doesn't have Anything for you to Do

Illustration by:   @njosephillustrations

Illustration by: @njosephillustrations

By: Caroline Vazzana

We can all think back to one time or another, when we had a really slow day at work. And while that might sound like a blessing in the fast paced industry we work in, these days should be your time to shine. Just because your boss tells you, “I don’t have anything for you to do right now,” that doesn’t actually mean there’s nothing to do. This is your time to think and plan ahead and really impress your boss. Below 5 ways to stay ahead of the game

Organize Your Surroundings

As an assistant, or really in any role, it’s easy for your workspace to become cluttered, and, well, messy. When your workspace is cluttered, often your brain is cluttered too- I mean who can really think straight with a pile of papers and empty salad containers next to them? On a slow day at work, take time to orgazine your surrorundings which will simultaesusy help you be more productive when your boss does have a big project for you to work on.

Clear Out Your Email

I can remember days when I’d left my inbox at zero and came in in the morning to find it at 100 unread emails, no joke. Take your downtime to clear out your email and get it down to zero. Who knows, you might find something in your inbox you need to start working on.

Double Check Your Bosses Calendar

As an assistant, one of your biggest tasks is scheduling everything for your boss. Whether it’s meetings on the upper east side, brunch in soho or a trip to Barneys, you’re the one planning out her schedule and organizing her calander. With that being said, if you miss one detail, your boss could miss a very important meeting. Take this time to double check her schedule and make sure everything is absultely perfect.

Start Working on her Expense Report

As some of you may or may not know, expense reports are one of the very unglamorous parts of working in the industry. Each month you have to go through a pile of your bosses receipts she’s given to you throughout her daily travels and file them so she can then get reimbursed. The process is rather time consuiming so if you can start it on a day when you’re not busy instead of waiting until the last day of the month that would be ideal.  

Come Up with Project Ideas/Pitch Ideas

Most importantly, this is a time to be proactive and think ahead. Try to be in your bosses mind, you are her second set of hands, eyes, and ears afterall, so try to think what shes going to need you to do next. And, when all else fails, if you know of a big project coming up, or know that you need content for something, try coming up with a few ideas to pitch. I know my boss always loved when I pitched and didn’t just stay within my comfort zone so try to do the same.


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