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On the LeadershipFreak blog, one user shared that his first job was on a pig farm.  There was a lot of down time for the new recruit between feedings.  If the owner of the farm dropped by, the other farm hands would tell him “go sweep dust so you can look busy.”

Are you sweeping dust on your pig farm?  I know I have done this in the past, before I became more engaged and interested in making life better for the people working for my employer.

Today, instead of sweeping dust, I take down time as a fantastic opportunity to turn off the lights, close the door, and meditate for fifteen minutes.

I use downtime to recharge my batteries in a number of ways.

I do research related to the work I know I will be doing in the future.  I usually can find some online training for free that will help me be a better manager…

I do an awful lot of visiting with people to see if they need my help with anything.  Nine times out of ten, I will stay busy by helping them with something urgent, that has more relevance than sweeping dust.

If you have anything you are procrastinating, don’t sweep dust.  If your employer has overlooked you and left you twiddling your thumbs, ask if you can help someone else.

There will always be dust on a pig farm, no matter how hard you sweep.