Sitting in your cubicle, you spend hours typing away, poring into files and doing paperwork. Does your busy schedule at work give you a few minutes for yourself? Do you spend every moment stressed out about the things you need to get done? Or do you have everything nicely organized into your work day, every day? Whether you lag behind in your work or are on top of it, chances are that you do have some free time in your work day.
Free Time, Really?
Be honest. If you are sitting doing nothing, is it really because you have nothing to do? Chances are that there are a few things that you need to get done, but they don't need to be done immediately. We all have tasks to do that are not critically or immediately required to be done. So often we have nothing "immediate" to do and hence we fool ourselves that we have free time. There is nothing wrong in taking a few minutes break. But it would be a lot better if you took the break after finishing all your work.
To create "real" free time, you need to be on top of your responsibilities and tasks. If you have a few tasks that seem daunting, and hence postponable, you need to get cracking on them NOW. If you lack the motivation, try to imagine the "feel good" frame of mind you can enjoy AFTER you finish the daunting tasks. Wouldn't you like to feel satisfied and stress free? To conquer seemingly difficult battles, divide the big tasks into small ones, which can be finished easily.
Spending Free Time
Now if you are on top of your work, you've got what we call "real free time". What do you do with this free time? If you sit lazing around in your chair, it creates a bad impression on your superiors and colleagues. So what should you do in this free time that you have earned after a lot of hard work?
One option is to use this time to network. Get out of your cubicle and meet up with colleagues you have'nt spent much time with. Meet people across departments. Make new friends and contacts.
If you find you have sufficient free time, you could ask your company to sponsor you for a higher education course or training/certification in your field. This will be mustually beneficial and useful to you in the long run. Even if your company refuses to sponsor, you should fund new learning and do it anyway!
You could also surf the internet for news and information. Keep yourself updated and try to make the best possible use of your time.