Upskilling: How To Spend Time Wisely When Work Runs Dry

Many believe that the key to success and true happiness lies within the power of positive thought and they pose a valid point. However, a positive mental attitude (PMA) can be difficult to come by when life throws a curveball your way.

A fine example of real PMA deterrent is when your order book is empty and the workload runs dry. When this happens, it can be hard finding the motivation to bounce out of bed every morning with a go-get-‘em attitude. That said, there is a silver lining in this situation if you look hard enough.

With little or no deadlines to be chasing, you’re left with a whole load of unwelcome free time and a choice to be made. You can either wallow in worry and just hope to come out the other side, or you can use the opportunity to your advantage by investing some time into upskilling yourself.

In this article, we show you a few simple ways you can go about upskilling to ensure that you’re spending your downtime more wisely.

First though, let’s explain exactly what we mean by ‘upskilling’…


What is upskilling?

Upskilling is the active attempt at expanding your abilities through training and acquiring new skills. Literally, it involves educating yourself in something new so that you can add additional tools to your offering. Theoretically, it’s the ideal way to stay ahead of the competition and avoid standing still in a marketplace that is constantly evolving.

How does one go about this so-called upskilling?

Here are ten great ways you can upskill yourself when you’re left with a little too much spare time for your liking…


Practice makes perfect

Finish something you started or brush up on loose knowledge by getting some valuable practice time in.

Take an online training course

There’s plenty of them out there – all you need to do is find one that suits your budget and preferred way of learning.

Head back into the classroom

If you’re more of a hands-on learner, consider looking for a face-to-face class rather than an online course. You can also hire a training room with a group of other people.

Attend a seminar or workshop

This is a great way to sink your teeth into something new and learn from those with personal experience.



Lose yourself in YouTube tutorials

Alternatively, become your own teacher by delving into the plethora of tutorials and how-to videos available online.

Shadow somebody more senior

If there’s somebody above you who possesses the skills you’re after, ask them if you can shadow them for a while to absorb their knowledge in practice.

Willingly subject yourself to a management course

The rules and recommendations around business management are changing all the time – it’s in your favour to make sure you stay up to date.

Invest in your general wellbeing

Working on your physical health, meditating, doing some yoga or simply taking a well-earned break is a valid way to improve yourself professionally. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Review your sustainability practices

All businesses today need to show some sort of responsibility to becoming more sustainable. Now is the ideal time to address this if you’ve been letting it slip down your priority list.

Revaluate your outsource connections

Perhaps you’re not happy with your freelance web designer, or you’ve been meaning to change your accountant for a while… Now is the perfect time and while it might not be a direct upskill of your own, it will certainly upskill your business.


How do you approach having more free time when the order book is empty? Are there any skills you’d like to work on given the luxury of more spare time? Let us know in the comments or by using social media.