9 Productive Ways to Make the Most of Your Time When You’re Forced to Wait

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We spend a lot of time waiting. We wait for people to meet us at a restaurant. We wait at the dentist’s office. We wait for meetings to start. We wait in line at the store. We wait in traffic. There’s a lot of waiting going on over the course of a year.

Imagine what you could accomplish with that time if you used it well. You could learn a ton of things. You could also accomplish a lot and enjoy more free time at the end of your day.

Put your waiting time to good use with these strategies:

1. Make phone calls. Why not get caught up on your phone calls while you’re just waiting? There never seems to be enough time to make all the necessary phone calls. Business or pleasure, it’s your choice.

    • Your mom would like to hear from you. When did you last call your best friend?

2. Answer emails. This is easier to do in public than making phone calls. Of course, making phone calls is easier in the car than responding to emails. Get caught up on your emails instead of just sitting in the doctor’s office. Make the time count.

3. Make plans. Whether you need to make plans for the weekend or a grocery list, you can do some constructive planning while you wait. Successful businesses have been planned with a few spare minutes here and there. Imagine what you could do if you never wasted any of the time you spend waiting.

4. Meditate. It can be hard to find time to meditate. Sitting in the examination room while you wait for the doctor is a great time to meditate. It seems like you’ll have at least 20 minutes to yourself. With practice, you can meditate while you stand in line at the store, too!

5. Read. Carry a book with you. A tablet reader, or even your phone, can be a great way to read a book or an article. You can learn something while you’re just sitting there waiting. Or, you might prefer to read the classics. The choice is yours.

    • The time will pass whether you’re doing something constructive or not, so you may as well learn something while you wait.

6. Listen to something useful. What’s “useful” is up to you. A soothing song, a book on tape, or a lecture on YouTube can all be great ways to use your waiting time. It’s like reading, only less work, and you can close your eyes.

7. Relax. Just close your eyes if possible and enjoy a few minutes of peace. You can daydream, focus on your breathing, or enjoy the scenery. Taking a few minutes to unwind can be a big relief.

8. Make a friend. Use the time to socialize. You might make a friend or at least have an interesting conversation. You can work on your social skills, too. People engage in much less face-to-face communication today. You can do your part to revive the art of conversation.

9. Visualize being successful. Think of this as intentional daydreaming. Imagine yourself accomplishing your goals and focus on how good it feels. Doing this several times a day for just a few minutes add up! You’ll notice results if you’re consistent.

How much time do you spend waiting in a year? Think about it and take an educated guess. What could you have accomplished with that time? What did you actually do with all that time?

Refuse to give up even a minute of your time to waiting. Make the most of your day by utilizing every minute you can.

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