Keep busy while waiting

Keep busy while waiting

A couple of weeks ago, I watched my son stand over a pot of water, waiting for it to boil. A week later I found myself sitting in the waiting room of a dentist’s office. Here’s the difference: I had brought more things to do than I needed to fill the time while my son either didn’t see the dishes in the sink or was trying to ignore them. I was surprised how fast the time went. My son thought the water would never boil.

So I started making a list of alternatives to idle waiting. I’m planning to post it on our refrigerator or possibly near the coffee pot. Hopefully, my sons will be inspired. Perhaps you and your family will find it thought- and action-provoking as well.

While waiting for water to boil: collect dishes, wash dirty dishes/fill the dishwasher, dry and put away the dishes, wipe off the counter, empty the trash can, sweep the floor, clean the stove, prep coffee for morning, tidy a cupboard, cut vegetables for dinner, run a cloth over the table, or check/fill pet food and water.

While waiting in a car but not driving: collect trash, wipe off the dash, organize the glove compartment, check to see when you need an oil change, or enjoy the view.

While waiting in an office: review a list of questions to ask during your appointment, write a to-do list, read an interesting article, make an entry in your journal, complete a writing assignment (like a column, hint, hint), start notes for the great American novel, plan meals for the next two weeks, write a Christmas list, compile a grocery list, consider what items to pack for your next vacation, or write a thank-you note.

While waiting for coffee to brew: give the dog his vitamins, fill vitamin caddies for the week, let the dog outside, do a few calf raises, organize an errand list, prepare your cereal or oatmeal, pull something out of the freezer for dinner, decide what to make for dinner, check that the things you need for the day are in your purse or backpack, write a list of calls to make, arrange your schedule, check your calendar for upcoming events and deadlines, memorize a verse, sign and address a birthday card, or add an item or two to your shopping list.

While waiting for someone to arrive: check your hair and makeup, collect whatever you need to take with you, put the finishing touches on refreshments, relax and practice your smile, or talk to your parrot.

Have you started to think about things for your own list? Lots of things can be done in those few minutes that might otherwise be wasted and gone forever. A simple task can make the time go faster and free up more time later. What things could you do in a bit of time? What could you inspire in others?

Give it a try. You could free up whole blocks of time for things you enjoy.

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