You’re waiting in line or waiting for your name to be called in the doctor’s office and you don’t know what to do while waiting to make your time more worthwhile.
So what is the best thing to do while waiting? Instead of stomping your feet or complaining while waiting, you can utilize your waiting time and be productive even for a couple of minutes only.
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I know, one of the easiest to do, like an automatic reflex of our fingers, is to use our mobile phones, open a social media app and without even noticing the time, we reach our turns already.
While drowning yourself in funny TikTok videos help you forget that you’re waiting, it is not the best way to spend your time waiting.
Whether you are stuck in traffic, waiting for your food in a restaurant when you’re alone or you’re in a long queue, do these productive activities to make waiting fun.
Here’s what to do while waiting:
– Read a book
You are a busy person so reading sometimes falls last on your list. But you know that reading has a lot of advantages and you should not miss out on that one.
You don’t have to take out a huge book like this dictionary (oh, I miss this, before social media and apps emerged), but a small pocketbook of your favourite genre can help you pass time. Reading a book is great when you’re in a train station waiting for your train, in a cafÃ© while waiting for your order or someone, or even at the airport when you’re too early so you won’t miss your flight.
– Read the latest world news
This might not be too ideal when you’re waiting when you only read distressing news today. But knowing what’s happening helps you prepare and simply stay in the know, rather than, wondering all the time.
We can’t control some things like the happenings in the world if you are an ordinary citizen on this planet, but you can control how you react to the news – it may help or break you.
If you don’t trust those big publications in giving you details of the latest happenings, you can turn to forums in which you will also read people’s opinions and feelings about a certain topic. Some of those online platforms are Quora and Reddit.
You can also read on Medium, it’s not an online forum but an online publication platform. When you’re a member, you can read unlimited articles about different topics which are written by different writers. If you’re an aspiring writer, you can also start blogging on Medium.
– Listen to a podcast or audiobook
Some are not book-persons and they don’t have patience in reading too. I understand that and know some people who can’t finish a single page. If you’re one of these individuals, you can listen to podcasts instead or audiobooks like Audible on Amazon.
What is so good about listening while waiting is it doesn’t hassle you, what matters is that you have exceptional pair of headsets like this stunner (check the price, cheaper than other headsets).
So if you’re sitting in a subway or sometimes standing, listening to a podcast and audiobook makes you think you’re not wasting your time at all especially if you’re listening to useful stuff too.
– Read emails
You missed reading emails while taking your breakfast this morning because you’re in a hurry to reach your appointment. Then now, while you’re still in a waiting area, is the best time to read your unread emails.
Lately, reading emails belongs to my entertainment as a blogger. I read emails to get ideas and inspiration for my next blog post, products and my email newsletter as well.
If you’re a copywriter and a blogger, reading emails helps you hone your skills to become an expert in your craft.
If you feel like joining my Minder Insider’s Hub, then just type in your email address and name below. I think we’ll be friends.
– Answer emails
If you can read emails during waiting times, then don’t let some unanswered emails stay unanswered. Unless an email requires your concentration and meticulous response, you can reply lightly to those emails that are maybe related to your work or maybe someone is waiting for your message who prefers to exchange communication with you via email.
– Unsubscribe from emails
It’s nothing personal when you unsubscribe from emails.
When I see people unsubscribing from my list, I try not to take it personally. I just think maybe my emails are not for them.
So if you’ve been receiving emails that don’t resonate with you and your life right now, you can search for the unsubscribe link or button. Aside from unsubscribing, you can also delete spammy emails and email addresses from your inbox. You don’t need those junks.
But there are times that I also check my spam folder, I even unspam a couple emails that are not supposed to be landing there. You can do that too.
– Converse with a stranger
Not everyone can and would do this but there are times in your life that you simply struck a conversation with a total stranger. If you’re waiting at the airport or in any public place, you can apply this if you’re bored or have nothing to do.
You should also be careful in approaching somebody because it’s not every day that you get spoken to, right?
When somebody approaches us, we think they need something from us or they mean us some harm. It’s not always the case, but there are individuals who are really cautious when being approached by strangers.
If you see somebody who seems easy to talk to or is not busy, then you can approach her/him and start a conversation.
– Create a to-do list
You might not be able to do a lot of tasks while you’re outside or waiting somewhere, but at least you can already prepare yourself for some tasks you have to finish when you have a lot of time on your hands.
If you don’t have a planner with you like this, you can use your mobile phone to write down tasks that need to be done or something you’ve been delaying for days already.
– Browse Pinterest for inspiration and ideas
Pinterest is not only for bloggers and DIYers – it is for everyone. Install the app and type a word of interest to you. You can find that on Pinterest.
Think of the platform as a Google with images and bold texts – that’s how Pinterest works.
Since it has a function like Google, you can also find topics, articles, blog posts, and even products on the platform.
– Play mind-provoking games
Playing on your mobile phone could be the easiest way to distract you from waiting but you can make that habit a bit healthier, right?
Instead of exercising your fingers playing those games where figures fight (sorry, not really sure, is it Clash of Clans or any similar games?), you can reward your brain some workout with mind-provoking games.
Wordle is one of those games that I like to play when I’m outside, commuting, waiting for the train, or sitting on the train.
You can also solve puzzles online or you can purchase some on Amazon.
You’re having fun while waiting and at the same time, you’re learning too. So forget other games for a while, and get one of these puzzles.
- The Ultimate Book of Mixed Puzzles
- Variety Puzzle Book For Adults
- The Best Puzzle Book for Adults
- Ultimate Mind Games
– Clean your phone
Since you always want to have a phone in your hands, you can take advantage of that moment of waiting and declutter your phone.
You might be wondering why your phone doesn’t function like it used to when you bought it. Perhaps you have installed too many apps that you don’t even need or use in the first place.
Do you see unknown numbers in your contact list? Either you contact them or you get rid of them.
You can’t save a single file or photo anymore, now’s the time to delete those files you don’t need anymore or photos you mistakenly took while you’re fumbling with your phone.
– Visit the gallery or photo collection
Think of those moments when your parents revisited photo albums in your home.
You can do that too while waiting in a long line. But instead of physical photo albums, you have a small gadget that holds memories in a form of images taken by you or by someone.
Reminiscing is one of the best things to do while waiting and it helps you to safeguard yourself from stress. So if you know you have a long day ahead of you waiting for your flight or waiting for your food at a restaurant then just browse through the photos on your phone.
– Watch a tutorial
As long as you have an internet connection, you can already watch short clips on YouTube and even on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. I know you can find many interesting tutorial videos on TikTok but unfortunately, TikTok is too distracting.
If you can control yourself not to entertain other videos or content on TikTok that are not too relevant to what you really want to know, then, of course, you can linger on the app.
– Think and reflect
Sometimes, it feels good to just space out as long as you don’t allow yourself or your soul to wander off and notice at the last minute that you have missed your plane or station already.
We tend to get too busy every day that thinking and reflecting about things seem a difficult task to do when it seems so simple as breathing, right?
Yes, allow yourself to reflect on things that you did these past few days.
Did you do something good for yourself?
Did you help somebody in need?
Did you say hurtful things to your loved ones?
Maybe you’re into Psychology or writing something that you may need more facts about the behaviour of individuals.
Then use the opportunity to watch the people around you.
Looking at other individuals helps you see things clearly and calmly.
But you should only observe to learn and not criticize people around you.
Drawing or sketching is one of the most creative things you can do while you’re stuck in traffic – that is, if you are not driving or sitting on a train.
I saw some did that already while riding on a train and I could see, they’re having massive fun with it especially if they’re drawing the people opposite them who have nothing against it.
You don’t have to do anything if you don’t feel like doing it. In that case, relaxing is one of the most enjoyable things to do while waiting.
You can just sit back and chill in your chair. Buy a coffee or something to drink and if you want, you can listen to Lofi Girl’s playlist.
Oh, life. Sweet, isn’t it?
More things to do while waiting especially for online creators and bloggers
– Write social media caption
While waiting you can write captions you can use for Instagram posts instead of browsing through Instagram without a goal in mind. You only need a writing app or Notes for iPhone then you can formulate a couple of sentences already.
– Start writing a blog post
You may not be going to finish writing a whole blog post but at least you can start already.
You could begin with researching a topic, the relevant keywords for it and then the subheadings that you’ll include in your blog post.
You should also search for sources for your blog post to support your ideas and claims.
– Write for your email newsletter
To my fellow bloggers, writing a newsletter could be a mind-boggling task for a blogger with subscribers. I know, right?
You don’t know what you’re going to say, er, write. You would think no one would read or open it anyway, so why bother?
I’ve been there and I still feel that.
But lately, writing one becomes a huge part of me as a blogger and content creator. I didn’t know I would love it.
Thanks to Liz Wilcox and her email prowess.
If you haven’t joined my Hub yet, you can join here.
– Create a draft
You may be a copywriter or perhaps a graphic designer, you can utilize this waiting time with a plan and a draft so when you’re on your laptop already or at a place where you can work without disturbance, your creative juices will just overflow.
So control your fingers to scroll endlessly on IG or TikTok if you want to spend your waiting time productively.
In a nutshell…
You are the one to decide what to do with your time but when you can spend it wisely and productively, then you should not miss that chance.
Time is gold, you can’t bring that back anymore.
So use it accordingly.
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