We’ve all had times where we unexpectedly had to wait for something. Say a business meeting was pushed back a half hour or you’re waiting for your doctor who is 45 minutes behind schedule. It can be very stressful and frustrating. It often seems like people don’t value our time, so they end up wasting it. While it is often hard to avoid these situations, there is something you can do to minimize their effect on you. In fact, you might be able to turn these situations to your advantage in some cases.
A little trick that I have been trying to employ recently is to put quick tasks that I can accomplish on a reminder list on my phone. That way, when I get caught with an extra 10-15 minutes where I’m waiting for someone, I can open up my reminder list and hopefully knock out a few of my todo items. That way, I accomplish something and feel good about how I spent my time, rather than being upset that my time was wasted and end up having to spend the rest of my day trying to regain my lost time. Also, since I often have no other distractions while I’m waiting, I’m able to completely focus on the task at hand.
Of course, the benefit of this trick is lost if you over engineer it. Don’t spend excessive amounts of time creating your list. If you spend an hour a day adding items that you can fit into short amounts of time, you would have been better off just accomplishing a few of them instead. As tasks occur to me while I am working on something else, I quickly capture them, so that I don’t forget them. Often, I use Siri to dictate a task or two while I am driving somewhere. So far, it’s working for me. It’s not a life changing trick, but it helps me get a little bit more done and reduces my stress or annoyance when I’m kept waiting.