9 Ways to Make Waiting Worth Your While

by | Productivity Advice | 7 comments

This is a guest post from Aaron Morris, also known as Sir Scrapalot. In it, he shares some excellent ideas for helping you be more efficient with your time – saving you more time to scrap once you get home!

Earlier today, I had to bring in my car to have a tire patched. It wasn’t going to be a long job, so I decided I would just hang around and wait for it to be done.  As I sat there, staring into space, I started to think about how that while waiting for the car to be done was easier, it wasn’t exactly productive.  So, I took out my phone and started playing Angry Birds…just kidding!  I started drafting this list of productive things I could have been doing while I waited.

  1. Return phone calls – I always seem to have a list of people who I need to call. This would be a great time to squeeze in a couple of those calls that I know would be quick. Don’t have any calls to return? Call a friend just to say hi, or call Aunt Helen. At least then you know you won’t be stuck talking to Aunt Helen for hours.
  2. Check/Clean Up Email Inbox – Assuming you have a smart phone, checking your email inbox is easy to do while you wait. I usually take it a step further and do a little cleaning up of my inbox – archiving emails I need to save, deleting those I don’t need. Even if I just get through a few, it’s still more than I had done before.
  3. Clean Out Your Wallet or Purse – If you are anything like me, or my wife, your wallet or purse can become a hazard zone in t-minus five seconds. If you are waiting and have a few minutes, it would be a great time to go through and do a little clean up. Throw out what you don’t need, put things where they belong. Try to tame the beast.
  4. Make Lists – That’s what I’m doing right now! Having a few minutes that you have to wait is a great time to take out a pad or your smart phone and make a few lists – things to do, errands to run, brainstorm blog topics or layout ideas. Sometimes, my best lists come from times like these.
  5. Take Pictures – Chances are, if you are reading Simple Scrapper, you are an avid memory keeper. If you have a few minutes to wait, take out your phone or camera and take a few pictures. Take pictures that you maybe wouldn’t have taken otherwise. Take a few pictures of yourself. Pictures like this make for GREAT “day in the life” type layouts. Just make sure you take pictures where it’s acceptable. People might think you’re weird if you start snapping pics of them in the doctor’s office.
  6. Move – This isn’t always possible, but if you are in a situation where you can move around or take a walk, do it. A few minutes of exercise will help keep your energy up and keep you from sitting around doing nothing. If I wasn’t making this list right now, I probably would have gone for a walk.
  7. Have Some “You” Time – For most of us, “you” time is a luxury we almost never see. If you have a few minutes to waste in the car, turn on your favorite song and sing along. Taking a few minutes to do something like this will improve your mood greatly. I know that after a rousing rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” I feel more energized to face the day.
  8. Reflect – On the flip side, taking a few minutes to have some quiet reflection time can be just as energizing. The key is to think about yourself, and your actions. Often, these short reflections bring about changes in the way we act.
  9. Play a Game – Sometimes, it’s nice to just play. The key is, you have to do it without guilt. There is nothing wrong with saying, “hey, I’ve got ten minutes, let’s see if I can beat that Angry Birds level!” Depriving yourself of something you like never works, what does work is to do what you like, even if it’s bad, in small increments.

So, I was able to come up with nine things I could have done while I was waiting. What do you do while you are waiting? What would you add as a number ten on my list?

Did you find this post helpful?

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  1. stacey@Havoc&Mayhem

    I read. I have a kindle app on my phone & if I don’t have the kindle itself with me, I can pull up the book I am reading on the phone.

  2. Vickie

    I generally take a book with me when I know I will have to wait. But I like all of your ideas.

  3. HighDesertGal

    I would add….If you have children. DON’T just expect them to wait. I am appalled by the parents I see who ignore their children. Take books and read to them! and not just little ones but older ones like it too. Get rid of the electronics and read, read!

  4. Melissa

    I always carry a book or magazine with me so I read while I wait.

  5. connie

    Take your iPad with you – EVERYWHERE!! Then you can read a book, browse your photos, check your email, take photos (if you have the new iPad), make lists, plan your next scrapbook page(s), and the list goes on and on.

  6. Rebecca

    Great post as always from Aaron! I usually read, and it drives me nuts when I forget to bring a book! The other day, though, when I found myself with a few spare minutes and no book, I made a list. But that’s only because I don’t have Angry Birds on my (dumb)phone.

  7. Sherry Carr-Smith

    I almost always balance my check register while I’m waiting. Lately, I’ve also been going through the pictures on my phone and emailing myself the ones I want to print for scrapping, then I delete the others.



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