If you work in a small team, or you’re the person who never takes leave, you might find yourself often alone at work. There are no colleagues to talk to and it feels like you could get away with doing less work. While this seems like a blessing it can also be a curse. The temptation is great to sit flicking through photos and social media, but this may just be the perfect time to get ahead of your colleagues … or simply elbow your way through to the front of the pack. Luckily this is 2016 and there are plenty of apps and tips to help you in this endeavor and avoid the dreaded pitfalls of procrastination.

  1. Do an inbox clean

With no one at the office you will be getting a lot of emails so when it is quiet this could be a good time to conduct a spring clean of your inbox. You can finally start to answer those few emails that just were not important enough before. It seems a trivial task, but a neat tidy inbox will give you more insight into what is important and what is not. Many mailboxes offer the possibility to create personalized folders – with clear themes you can find quickly. Meanwhile, offline it is time to reorganize your desk – an organized environment gives you a healthy, fresh start to the day.

  1. Check your calendar for the coming weeks and months

Which events or meetings coming up? Should you prepare something that takes place within a few weeks? Perhaps it is now the time to prepare for that meeting coming up, so you’re not leaving it last minute. This seems like a simple tip, but if you have a clear overview of what’s coming, you’re less stressed with your current tasks. Google calendar is still one of the leading calendar apps with a beautiful interface that makes your events come to life. Ideal for people with a visual memory.

  1. Yes, Facebook shut down

This seems easier said than done – how many times a day do you surf social media? While you think you only pop on occasionally minutes can become hours on useless websites. Even though Facebook Twitter are probably blocked by your boss, there are many apps, including Cold Turkey and StayFocusd that block these types of sites for a period of time. So you are obliged to concentrate on your to-do list, not Beyonce articles or card games! You can enjoy these things only once the lock is released.

  1. Create a career plan

Now you’re all alone with your emails and calendar, what is your plan for the coming months? Alone time is a good time to get into your thoughts about what you want to achieve. Investing in a plan and clear set of goals will make you more productive for the future. Make regular notes on ideas you have too. The now world famous app Evernote is an app that allows cross markings you make on your smartphone and will also appear on your computer, tablet or any other device you are linking to the app.

  1. Think about starting your own business

As long as you make sure no one can find out, with no prying eyes over your shoulder, alone time can be a great opportunity to work on that killer new business idea. Researching your target market is a long an arduous process but if you have an entire office and no work to do then why not put it to good use. Try and use all tools at your disposal to plan out the idea. Make sure you keep these covered up though. If you just have a PC and know the bosses can’t find out what you’re searching or viewing, try and start building your online presence as making accounts and connecting social media can be a drag but easy if you do it on company time! Just keep it schtum!

  1. Teach yourself something new

Seems simple, but teaching ourselves something new is a perfect training for the brain. Did you always want to learn all the new PowerPoint features? Or refine your verbal presentation techniques? Now that there is no one in the office, it’s time to start looking skills and techniques that you can hone. There are skills that you haven’t even thought about that can only improve your future chance, body language for instance. Check out the thousands of videos and TED talks about self-confidence, presentation and nonverbal communication across the web, so the next presentation that comes around you can really impress. So next time you find yourself alone in the office make sure you make the most of it!