The Top 7 Ways to End Frustrating Wait-Time
Image source by Adryana Nicoleta
Life goes down the drain while you wait. Airports, repair shops, grocery lines, and doctor’s offices ruthlessly steal time.
Time is life.
Wasted time is wasted life.
- Escalates anger.
- Strains relationships.
- Increases stress.
- Reduces productivity.
Planning and preparation transform frustrating wait-time to satisfying productivity.
Top 7 Ways to End Frustrating Wait-Time
- Create a list of things to do while waiting. Look around, and ask, “What productive activities could I do right now?” Do one.
- Write thank you notes. (Prepare for waiting by keeping thank you notes with you.)
- Journal. Turn off email, texts, and the phone.
- Blog. Write a blog about waiting.
- Connect. Grocery story lines are great opportunities to say, “Hi.” (For extroverts.)
- Meditate or pray. People will think you’re sleeping.
- Renew a relationship. Call an old friend and say, “I was just thinking about you.”
Bonus: Help someone. Look around and see who needs a hand. Pick up garbage if you’re a clean freak.
This post was inspired by Lets Grow Leaders.
How can leaders capture wait-time?
I always have my Kindle and use my waiting time to read.
Isn’t it great how we can carry a library with us?
Practical guidelines.. But I most often hear the opposite – “with all the electronic connectedness, I never get away from.. ” -or- “I can’t get a moment for myself.”
Catching up with Less than 300 Word Blogs is a good use of the time. 🙂
Thanks Ken, while writing this, I thought about using wait time to tune out for a bit. I never have but I’m going to give it a try. For me, the journal option sounds appealing.
A gratitude list always helps me with the gray matter between my ears.
Always help to take a deep breath between the relentless attacks.
Speaking of which time to get after it!
I carry my Nexus 7 around and read. If i have downtime around the home, I think through the things that I need to do, whether is paying the bills, touch-up painting, etc…
Thank you Juan. Sounds like you are a doer… 🙂 Would quiet reflection time fit in somewhere? Cheers
I haven’t been as deliberate as I can be on reflection time. I do need to spend more time on quiet reflection. That time is best in the morning after my pray and Bible reading.
I absolutely hate waiting – especially if I feel like it’s excessive or completely out of my control. Lately I’ve experienced this in Doctor’s offices, but I’ve since learned to always have certain things with me to eliminate this feeling of in-productivity: a notebook, book to read or cell phone to catch up on all calls. The notebook especially has allowed me to get a ton of writing done when most people would just flip through a magazine. Great advice!
Stephanie, I hate it too. I love the idea of using wait-time to reflect or write. It transforms a frustration into an opportunity. I’ve always been a reader but I’m going to try reflection time.
BTW… I’m wishing you good health. Cheers
Some people just while waiting for a red light feel guilty about not having something to do…as if they are not being productive and they fumble around for something to do.
Life does not have to be about competition in the formation and completion of the biggest To-Do list. Instead while waiting, take time to take time…just for yourself. AHHH
Very useful add to the conversation… thank you.
I agree 100%. Take time to chill out–you’re not impressing anyone by multitasking in an airport lounge.
Love love love the thank you note idea. Totally going to toss some blank note cards and envelopes in my backpack I always carry…yep, I’m that guy.
I like to strike up conversations with strangers at airports and other places. I’ve learned so much this way.
BTW, props for tossing Karin the mention and credit for inspiring this post, not every blogger would have done that. I respect you for that.
Thanks for sharing your response. It’s an encouragement.
You and I both enjoy meeting people… 🙂
Karin is doing some great work over there. I don’t read a lot of blogs but I definitely grab hers.
I would like to piggyback on the thank you note idea. We can benefit by having a quick list of things that others have done for us that merit a thank you note from us. This should be a list that can be completed daily. As I counsel people that are looking to improve their networking skills, this is the one technique that I teach that allows them to keep up with the workload of positive interactions and relationships. 24 hours to say thank you is the longest it should ever take before you hand it to them or mail it (Yes, I do believe we should keep the Postal Service in business for this archaic communication!)
Oh gosh as an introvert I’m sorry to have to miss the book club! And as for the waiting —- I see waiting being magnified now that so many of us have social media and can tweet while waiting …. may be good, may be bad – I’m thinking community managers keep an eye and have an opportunity to appease these frustrated waiters. And I think I may use waiting as a blog prompt sometime as you suggest. Great idea!
Thank you Paula! And while we are on social media. Thank you for your support! cheers
Great article (as always)! I do all but one of the Top 7 Ways to End Frustrating Wait-Time.
Thank you Nicole and keep up the great work!
I especially like the idea of writing thank-you notes while you wait. In so doing, you’re turning wasted time into time spent building up your friends, colleagues, and loved ones while focusing on an attitude of gratitude.
We also need to be mindful of this problem in our business lives, focusing on how it feels for a customer to wait in your lobby or office!
Thanks Justin… Love how you took this post in a whole new direction by thinking of folks waiting for us…
This is a great idea. No time like now. I’ve ordered some cards I can keep with my note book.
While waiting, I like to watch people, it’s fascinating. If you haven’t tried it, you should. You won’t believe what you see!!!
These are all so great advices! I’ll definitely try it all. I ssooo love the thank you notes! You gave me an idea on when is the best time to read my The Magic book. And oh, the meeting new people is something that I would really give a try. Since I am so afraid of approaching other people, this will help me gain that confidence I need to mingle with strangers. Then the bonus of finding someone to help is what I usually do on my waiting time. Good job! Thanks for inspiring me. I am getting ideas on what to write as a beginner in blogging. 🙂
Waiting is tough but for me waiting in heavy traffic is worse. I frequently drive the San Diego to Orange County round trip. When I expect traffic to add considerably to my journey home I’ll trade that time to go bodysurfing for an hour or so. It clears my head, allows some problem solving time and renews my focus with the plus of exercise. Added bonus: my I-phone can’t swim so I’m off the grid!
I think each one of us has experienced the importance of waiting time. Sometimes it is very boring since you are alone and in different country or place. You do not know whom to talk and how to pass your leisure time. However there are times when you are with your friends and try to utilize time with enjoyment. I try to find out ways to use my leisure time by instantly calculating time available and activities to use that time. Generally I try to connect with net and write email to my friends, family to share my experience. When I am not connected with net, I try to connect with my ongoing research, ideas or favorite subject.
But I think it is better to plan beforehand whether you are going to get leisure time and how to utilize it effectively. Sometimes it is very useful to carry some reading material in printed form. I enjoy reading printed document of my interest in leisure time especially traveling by air or train.
Hi Dan, I agree there are many things we can do while we wait. I love people watching and listening. There are always good blogging experiences to write while you wait and watch 🙂
I’m going to try whiling away the wait times doing or thinking about something that is not usual for me. That’s a stretch idea.
It’s rare that I get frustrated from waiting. On long drives for business, I take the opportunity to listen to SRC – the French sister company to our English CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). It keeps my French fluent – and humour in another language is different. It’s good to return to my roots. It feels good, soothing.
(Not that Anglophones aren’t funny, mind you 🙂 )
I hate waiting! But doing constructive things while you wait really does make it better 🙂
Time wasted is truly life wasted.Time wasted is irrecoverable as Life lost.
Thanks for this! Waiting and wastiing time is my top frustration!
I hate waiting. It is my #1 frustration!
This is a great list ! I feel like I waste sooo much time because either I’m procrastinating or someone is making me wait. It just adds to the stress and workload at the end, when so much time is wasted.
Some great ideas there. I have scanned through the comments and I did not see…enjoy the wait, relax, be in the moment.
Why do we always feel like doing nothing is a waste? Sometimes, doing nothing is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body.
I know you mentioned meditating, which is great. And I love the thank you notes, if I was to do something.
Give it a try…see what it’s like to “Just Be”. Even if you practice for a short period of your waiting time.
Thanks cnadeau…….be present. Love it.