Things are difficult, but not dull when you’re preparing for a significant deadline. You know what you need to accomplish, and you concentrate and carry it out. If you’re lucky, you’ll have your team on your side, pitching in and helping you make it happen. It’s not difficult to find inspiration in that case. But what if it’s the other way around?

It’s the vacation or holiday season. Several members of your team may be away from the office. Things are moving slowly. That might sound like a dream when you’re in a hurried and feverish state. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I didn’t have to deal with all of this stress? However, staying motivated when the pace slows might be difficult in the short term.

Of course, you can’t just sit around and do nothing. You must continue to work and complete tasks in order to move the ball forward. Here’s how to do it even if things at work are slow.

First and foremost, take advantage of the chance to acknowledge the benefit. When you’re not always in meetings or pressed for time, you can finally devote yourself to what author Cal Newport refers to as “deep work.” Quick-hit shallow labor, such as sending emails or replying to messages, may protect you from being fired, but it will never get you promoted. No one is going to place him or her speedy email responses at the top of your performance assessment.

Your employer wants results, and you can only get them if you dedicate yourself to more meaningful initiatives that demand you to invest actual time and immerse yourself in them. Most people don’t set aside that time, therefore they don’t get it done, and that’s how you can stand out in a crowded market.

Second, sluggish moments at work are ideal for cleaning up dumb, small activities that must be completed anyway. Things like clearing out your desk so you can find files in 10 seconds instead of 10 minutes, or reading those piled-up professional periodicals that you know may help you come up with fresh ideas but haven’t had time to read.

Perhaps it’s just taking care of administrative things that are truly required, such as being paid for travel expenses from a conference you attended a few weeks ago.

Here’s another one. It’s a fantastic time to overinvest in networking when things are sluggish since it’s probably slow for everyone else in the company as well. Get together with your friends to relieve boredom. This is your opportunity to get to know your coworkers better, develop deeper relationships, and broaden your network so you’re not always talking to the same individuals on your team.

Invite someone out for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. It’s not like you have to come back in 20 minutes to meet a deadline. We all know that networking is beneficial to our jobs, but few of us really do it. This is your moment to shine. Almost invariably, the speed of your professional life will change in cycles. Instead of squandering and frittering away your downtime, you may invest carefully and reap the advantages afterward.