So you are sitting in the coffee shop sipping your cappuccino waiting for your friend/ contact to arrive. The scheduled meeting is due to start in a few minutes and now you’re twiddling your thumbs. This, my friend, is dead time.
I don’t know anyone who does not have any dead time anywhere in their week. Take a look at your diary and see how much dead time you had last week. And now just think if you calculate that over a year, how much time is totally wasted.
So what do we do with all of this dead time? After all it’s only a few minutes here and there. But don’t be deceived – you can achieve a great deal with those few minutes here and there.
Someone once said “most people overestimate what they can do in a month but under estimate what they can do in an hour.” Very true words and I would think about those minutes too.
Whenever I leave my office, I always take my “On The Go” folder with me. This is a little folder with notes on who to call or little tasks that I can do while I am out on the go. And then when I have dead time, I open my “On The Go” folder to grab something to do in that dead time. My “On The Go” task list may look like this:
- Call a client for a catch-up
- Like, share, re-tweet and comment on social media
- Write “thank you” and “birthday cards”
- Sketch out ideas for my next blog
- Book networking events online
Other ideas may include scanning receipts for your accounting software (if you use Xero or similar), catching up with the latest news, or jotting down tasks for next week. The point is, you can get a lot done in those few minutes.
What ideas do you have for using dead time more efficiently?