Make most of your waiting time

Everybody faces small, seemingly useless windows of time every day. These few minutes of waiting time here and there easily add up to quite a lot of waste. I’m sure you do not want to default to wasting your time by mindlessly browsing social media. So, here’s a list of alternatives:

Write: I use Writenext to draft ideas and articles. In fact, I’m using it right now in the bakery line writing this piece.

Learn: Use the time to refresh your memory with important information. There are great tools to support your learning on the go. For example, Anki, bringing the flash card learning method to the digital era. Well suited for short learning impulses during waiting time.

Mindstorm: Mindstorming is a method to get to solutions for wicked problems you face. It is very simple: Use a question to get you started.

Examples could be business related topics: How can I achieve X Mio in sales this year? Or how do I double the number of visitors to my site?

Or private things like: How can I free up more time for my family? Then, you write down all ideas that come to your mind as possible answers. The goal is to get to 50 (!) answers. That’s quite a number. You will at some point run out of the obvious ideas and force yourself to find new possible solutions.

The trick is to get back to the lists regularly. The entries you wrote down will continue to work in your subconsciousness. They will trigger new ideas the next time you get to the list. You can either use your standard note taking app or a tool like Evernote [Link] to store your mindstorms

Get something done: If you expect waiting times on a certain day, you can make sure to have some tasks ready to be done. Store them in your digital tickler file to get back to them during the idle time window. Just make sure, you do not need any special equipment and really can perform them during a waiting situation.

Reflect: Reflect on how your day went so far. What went well? What are you proud of where could you improve? If you use a journal, you write your thoughts down for later reflection.

Meditate: Use the waiting time for a micro meditation. Standing meditations are well suited for waiting situations. Just stand firm, feel your breath and the connection of your feed to the ground. Breath consciously and mindfully. Observe your body, the sound, and the light around you.

Connect: Instead of focusing on yourself. Why not connecting to the people around you? Make eye contact, say something nice and get into a little small talk. Maybe, you get in touch with an interesting person. And if not, you still trained your networking and small talk skills.

Be present and observe: Sometimes it is best to permit yourself to be idle during idle times. Do not search for a quick dopamine boost in your phone. Browsing the news will deprive you of energy. Leave it in your pocket and observe the present moment. This gives your mind a rest. A small break like this can fill you with energy needed to keep going for the rest of the day.

These are just some alternatives to use small time windows more sensible. Try what works for you and add your own micro actions to you waiting habits.