Do you have some mending to do? Is it something that can be mended by hand? Do you get breaks at work? (You know, a real break. Not the supposed “breaks” where employers tell you your 15 minute break was taken up already because you went to the bathroom three times for 2 minutes each time. Yeah, I worked at a place like that. I didn’t stay long, I refuse to work for such a micro-manager that they time you in the bathroom and tell you that’s your break. OK, I’m done ranting now.)
If you’re like me and you want to stay as productive as possible when you have spare time (and you have an infant at home that makes it impossible to use sharp objects), do your mending on your breaks! You want to make it clear you’re on break and not slacking off on the clock. If you have an office, it’s easier - just close the door. If you’re working in cubicle-land or an open concept office, try hanging a sign on the edge of the partition or your desk saying something along the lines of, “Please do not disturb until 10:30 – I’m on break. Thanks!” Or if you drive to work, temperature permitting of course, take your break in your car (I occasionally take lunch breaks in my car for napping purposes). If you don’t have a desk but you do have a hook to hang your coat and a place to sit during break, bring a small bag of mending with you that is easily portable.
This works best with one small project at a time, so don’t bring in your whole mending pile at once. Just the one pair of pants with the tear in the inseam, or the shirt with the missing button. Or that pair of black leather gloves that you love dearly and that need some TLC and some carefully placed stitches. ahem Also try and keep your mending tools to a minimum – a spool of thread with a needle stuck in it and the needed button. If you have scissors at work use those, it’ll cut down on your chances of losing your personal pair. You don’t want to be lugging around a ton of stuff – not only is it annoying to carry, it clutters your work station with non-work related stuff.
I’ve mended these gloves a few times on my breaks, and as they get a bit older and more worn out I’m tempted to just carry a spool of thread and a needle in my purse with me next winter. This winter really did a number on them.
Do you think you could pull this off? What are some other ways that you utilize your breaks to save you time at home? Or do you use the time to chat, read, or relax (or nap)?