Using Waiting Time Productively

Being as productive as possible means using every bit of time wisely.  That includes “Waiting Time”.  And we all have waiting time.  We wait for the doctor’s appointment, we wait for the train to arrive, we wait for a meeting to start and we wait for the kids to finish swimming lessons.  It seems we are forever waiting for something.  And that time is often wasted.  Instead of using it effectively, we default to scrolling through our Facebook feeds.

So instead of blankly scrolling, how about we think of “waiting time” as an opportunity to get more stuff done?  There are loads of things we can do in “waiting time” which will be productive. In fact, I have a little list labelled “out and about”.  This is a short list of tasks I can do, well, when I’m about and about – waiting.  

Touch-Base Calls

One of my favourite tasks while waiting, is to make a few phone calls.  These are usually calls to clients, past clients or contacts and the purpose really is just to touch base.  In our busy lives, we often neglect the personal touch, which is so important in relationship building.  Using waiting time to catch up with someone works very well.

Content Mapping

A little notebook is my constant companion and comes in handy during waiting time. Just last week, while waiting for a meeting to start, I managed to broadly map out two Facebook Lives and a blog. This makes it so much easier when I’m back in the office as I now have the “bones” of a piece of content and all that remains to be done is to flesh it out.  

Event Booking

I often use waiting time to get a few events booked in.  Browsing sites like Eventbrite, finding and booking events doesn’t take high focus and concentration and can thus easily be done while waiting.  Almost all of my networking events, workshops and conferences are booked while I’m waiting for something.  Of course, you could go a step further and search and book flights, accommodation etc. too!

Reading

Waiting time is perfect for reading.  Articles, news, blogs, books etc.  You would be surprised at how much you can get through in a few minutes. Personally, catching up on the latest world news is important.  Browsing through my favourite news site, reading headlines and articles quickly brings me up to speed while waiting for my next meeting to start.

Email Clear Out

If you are like most people, you probably have zillions of emails in your inbox. And many of them are rubbish.  So you can delete them.  Why not use “waiting time” to delete some mails from the inbox and do a bit of a clear out?

Meditate

Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is….nothing.  We can use “waiting time” to relax, think, meditate and practice awareness.  This is good for the soul and recharges our batteries – which in turn is good for productivity.  

There are so much we can do during the inevitable waiting times we experience every day.  If we use even half this time to do something productive, we’ll get more stuff done.