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Make Waiting Time Productive

Warning: This tip is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it MAY BE controversial!

Blog by: Juliann Ng

Some people may argue that turning waiting time into productive time means that I don’t know how to relax. In some ways, this is true.

But if you make the most of your waiting time, you will actually gain back better quality relaxation time.

Crossing off chores from your list through productive use of waiting time means less stress, less visits to the doctor, and less complaining. So it really makes for a healthier and happier you. Try it … even just once, if you’re skeptical!

Here is an example of how this plays out:

Before the COVID-19 quarantines began, I would pack lunches for our family of four pretty much every day. (I have to admit, one thing I have most appreciated during the lockdown is getting a much-needed break from this!). Unfortunately, my kids don’t like sandwiches so I can't make them in advance the night before and store them in the fridge. Instead, I have to make a hot lunch every morning. And like most working moms, there isn’t much time in the morning. Plus, I’m not a morning person. So contrary to a lot of articles out there that tout all the amazing, life-changing benefits of waking up early, my ideal schedule (which I don't have) would be to sleep late and wake up late.

I have about 30 minutes each morning to prepare and pack the lunch bags (with a snack), and feed the kids as well as myself before doing other things like getting dressed, and making the beds, etc. [Disclaimer: With COVID-19, I don't bother getting dressed anymore, which saves me even more time but which explains why you won't see me turning on the video during Zoom calls...]

I start by boiling a kettle of water for my oatmeal and to speed up the cooking for my kids’ tortellini or pierogi or whatever's on the menu for that day. While I wait for the water to boil, I could just sit and relax, read the newspaper, watch TV, or surf the web. But instead, I empty the dishwasher or if it’s already empty or not yet full, I may vacuum the main floor (and yes, only the main floor – let’s not go too crazy in the morning!). I know not everyone has to vacuum every day but between the dog hair and my endless crumb-generating kids, this is a MUST for my home.

One of my other highly efficient friends told me that once she took this waiting time to clean out the cabinet under her sink. I thought that was simply amazing. Then we laughed to ourselves, delighting in our "secretly" shared understanding of how to make the most of waiting time.

Now taking this time to catch up on news is actually a good thing too and would be considered productive time. So my point isn’t that you shouldn’t read or watch the news in the morning. My point is that if you look for times like these throughout your day and use it to tackle a chore instead of not doing anything in particular, you will have that much less to do later on, freeing up more time to sit with your feet up and do whatever it is that people do when they relax.

#findtimeforwhatmatters #waitingtime #productivetime #relaxation

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