1: Work on the graphics, special effects, or slide show timing of a PowerPoint presentation. Creative work that doesn’t require intense thought.
2: Hold one-on-one meetings with your staff or peers, ask them how you can improve, and really listen to what they have to say.
3: Let your mind wonder and brainstorm. You see, when you’re conscious mind is tired, your subconscious sort of kicks in and takes up the slack. You’d be amazed at what you can tap into. I get some of my best ideas when I’m half asleep or not even thinking.
4: Walk around, talk to people, let your guard down, be yourself.
5: If you happen to be writing something, do an outline. The final product always turns out better that way, and outlining is methodical work that doesn’t require a lot of brainpower.
6: Check out what the competition is doing. Do a little digging. Call some contacts to get some competitive G2.
7: Try a change of scenery, like working outside for a change.
8: Schmooze with some vendors or partners. No, I’m not saying completely waste people’s time, I’m talking about checking in and asking open questions you usually don’t ask.
9: Take your administrative assistant or favorite employee out for a long lunch and really get to know them.
10: Do your expense reports. Yes, my least favorite too, but it is more or less brainless work.
11: Clean off your desk. Granted, this one really sucks, but you feel such a sense of accomplishment when you’re done, it almost makes it worthwhile.