How to kill time at work (with pictures)

How to kill time at work (with pictures)
How to kill time at work (with pictures)

There are times of low activity in all businesses when you really have nothing to do. That doesn't mean your boss is going to let you be entertained during this time. So be discreet if you want to have fun or do productive tasks that are more interesting than waiting for a phone call or an email.


Part 1 of 2: having fun to kill time

Kill Time at Work Step 1

Step 1. Text a friend

Start a conversation with a friend who is unemployed or with a friend who is also bored at work. Start by turning down the volume on your phone all the way and be discreet. Don't keep your eyes on your phone or you'll get caught very quickly.

Kill Time at Work Step 2

Step 2. Hide your activities on your computer

Rotate your screen so that it is not visible from the door and windows. Silence the computer and the game you are playing. Take some time to cover up your activities even more.

  • Hide your Taskbar. Right-click on the taskbar, then click Hide, so that no one can see which programs you have open.
  • Learn the shortcuts for closing windows, minimizing them, or switching between programs. To change programs, try clicking altTab if you're working on Windows, or clicking cmdTab if you're working on a Mac. Don't play games in full screen mode, you might have a hard time minimizing them.
  • If you're really worried about getting caught, take a look at these software to cover up your social media activity and make your internet browsing anonymous.
Kill Time at Work Step 3

Step 3. Have fun online

Play online games like Kongregate or go to art sites like DeviantArt. You can also look for more specialized sites. Apparently you have already found a certain site called wikiHow, maybe the homepage may be of interest to you.

  • This can be risky, especially if your monitor is visible from your office door or if your coworkers can see it. You should also know that some companies monitor the browsing of their employees.
  • For entertainment that looks more "official", you can, for example, measure the speed at which you type on the computer and try to improve your performance.
Kill Time at Work Step 4

Step 4. Bite

Pick up a pencil or a pen, then start drawing whatever comes to mind. If you have a little artistic talent, you can apply yourself and gift your drawing to a friend.

Kill Time at Work Step 5

Step 5. Find entertaining apps for yourself

If you've got bored of playing games on your phone, you can cultivate yourself with a culture quiz or compare different productivity-boosting apps. Keep your phone on silent at all times and hide it under your desk or near a stack of sheets that you can move around to hide the screen.

Kill Time at Work Step 6

Step 6. Read a book

If it often happens that you have nothing to do, your employer may let you read to pass the time. If you need to hide your reading, consider getting a paperback book that you can easily put in a drawer or in your jacket pocket. You can also read books in electronic format, you will find plenty of them online and on the sites where you usually buy your applications.

Kill Time at Work Step 7

Step 7. Make up games with a colleague

If you have a coworker who is also bored, you can kill time by playing some silly games. See who can reach the trash can with a ball of paper from the longest distance or who can use the most ridiculous words in a conversation. Here are some ideas that you can use on a daily basis to make your work week go faster.

  • Attach a pin with a sign to someone's clothing without their knowledge. If you are successful, the person must pass the pin to someone else.
  • Play "photographer assassin": each choose a target at random. If you manage to take a photo of your target, your colleague loses the game and you have to take their target.
  • If your business has office chairs, compete for who can finish their day without hitting the ground.
Kill Time at Work Step 8

Step 8. Learn how to make origami

If you have a lot of spare time, you can try origami. It is an art that takes hours to master and does not require a lot of space. Start with a beginner's origami book or follow online guides. It is better to use squares of sturdy paper, but you can also use regular office sheets if you want to be more discreet.

Part 2 of 2: Kill Time While Being Productive

Kill Time at Work Step 9

Step 1. Try to make your job fun

If working is the last thing in the world you want to do, try changing your approach. Try to talk more with your colleagues and see them outside of working hours to create a better social environment at work. Motivate yourself by giving yourself rewards for hard work: a snack or a five-minute break.

Kill Time at Work Step 10

Step 2. Offer to help a colleague

Walk around the offices and ask your coworkers if they don't need help. Do not insist if they decline your offer, interrupting them constantly to offer them your help is frankly counterproductive.

Kill Time at Work Step 11

Step 3. Get your business emails in order

Reply to all your unanswered emails. Once you've done that, use your inbox folder systems to tidy up your emails. You can organize your emails by desired response date (today, this week, before the end of the month), by project or by type (official announcements, official documents and personal emails…).

  • If you have Gmail as your mailbox, you can tell Gmail to automatically sort all your emails to put them in the corresponding folders.
  • If you have a lot of documents on your work computer, it can take a long time to put them all away, which is a great way to pass the time.
Kill Time at Work Step 12

Step 4. Stretch

Stretching is both fun and a great way to pass the time. Some exercises can be done while seated, such as rotating your shoulders and neck or stretching your legs and arms.

Kill Time at Work Step 13

Step 5. Do research related to your work

Your boss won't criticize you for trying to learn how to do your job better. Read blogs or academic studies on your topic, or bring a book on the topic that you can read when you don't have a lot to do.

Kill Time at Work Step 14

Step 6. Make a calendar for yourself

You can make a homemade calendar for yourself using white paper or cardboard if your company makes it available to employees. This task can take as long as you want it to take, you can always hone your schedule further. After you've cut out the pages, use a ruler to draw six vertical lines, dividing the sheet into seven days. Then draw 4 horizontal lines to create 5 lines on the paper. This will give you enough squares to represent all the days of a month. Copy to an online calendar to avoid making mistakes when giving numbers to each of the boxes.

  • If you still have free time, you can color each month in a different color and add the holidays and birthdays of your loved ones.
  • If you don't feel like making a whole calendar on your own, you can also turn an old notebook into a planner, with 2 or 3 days per page.
Kill Time at Work Step 15

Step 7. Tidy up and clean your workspace and common work areas

Clean up your drawers. Take out the trash or clean the bathroom. If you really don't have anything to do, it might be good to be seen doing those extra chores. Your employer might assume that you need more assignments.

Kill Time at Work Step 16

Step 8. Look for a new position

It is one of the most important things to avoid when you are at work. But if you've read all of the instructions in this guide, it may be time for you to look for a more challenging job.


  • If you're struggling to motivate yourself to multitask, try cycling: 15 minutes on one project, 15 minutes on another project. Take 5 minute breaks every 30-60 minutes to keep your head fresh.
  • Think of software like ZHider or ClickyGone that allows you to hide your non-professional activities in the blink of an eye.
  • If necessary, do your homework.
  • If you are in a small space, play with the objects around you. You can make dumplings to throw with adhesive tape, chains with paper clips, a dumpling launcher …

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