Free time; there’s often not enough of it especially for those of us in the IT industry (there always seems to be a stack of things in the ‘to-do’ list). IT workers are at a higher risk of suffering from ‘Burnout’ than those in any other industry. To help reduce the risk of burnout it’s important to relax in your free time; so how do you still get everything done?

There are often times when you may have 5 – 10 minutes to spare which isn’t really long enough to dig in to some serious work nor relax. Rather than wasting these slots a great little article over at suggests ‘20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time’. Here are my favourite three that I would say I do on a daily basis:

  • Clear out inbox: Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty. If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done, but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.
  • Phone calls: Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere. Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.
  • Follow up: Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list. When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

I think the main theme here is not to waste time; get things done and out of the way so that when you really do have some free time you can enjoy it.