Productivity and GTD

8 Things to Do in your Waiting Times

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
Blog focus

Unfortunately, we all have to waste some of our precious time waiting somewhere. At the airport, at the doctor’s office, at the bank, at the postal office, in a appointment with an unpunctual person… There is a good amount of waiting times we do not choose or plan, so that when they arrive, we just try to spend the time the best possible.

Everything changes if you are well prepared—at least, you will not get in a so bad mood—. In addition to my iPhone, I always carry a small shoulder bag with a notebook, a pen and one of these three things: my Kindle, my iPad Mini or a book (the one in which I’m most interested at the moment):

my productive pack

Here is a list of productive things you can do to use—and enjoy—these waiting times:

  1. Relax. If you are having a busy day, this may be a good choice. There is a difference between being bored and, intentionally, doing things to relax and renew your energy. Play, browse the internet, take a look at your Twitter or Facebook, listen to music, read a magazine. Remember that rest is key to being productive.
  2. Call back. Return your phone calls, and your messages, and your e-mails. There are a number of small tasks that only require your phone and a couple of minutes.
  3. Review your planning. Mentally, on paper or on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Check and adjust the tasks of the day. Probably, this waiting time will force you to change your schedule. If you have time, plan the next day too.
  4. Be creative. Write something, draw a picture, a sketch or a mind map… Maybe some of these ideas will become a new project later.
  5. Learn something. Read a book, an article you set as “read later”; listen to a podcast or audiobook. Seriously, this makes any wait worthwhile.
  6. Meditate on an issue or a project you have. Simply enable your brain and think about it.
  7. Daydream. Thinking about the life you would like to live, besides putting you in a good mood, can be very motivating. This way you begin to create your goals.
  8. Socialize. If you expect the wait to be long, call someone you know in the area and invite her to have a coffee. Or talk to someone you do not know. Complaining about the wait can be a good ice-breaker, but change the subject asap. ;)

Waiting times can be very annoying, but you will feel better if you are equipped with the right stuff and a more positive predisposition. What do you think?

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