Time Management – “Waiting Time”

People sometimes ask me, “With such a filled life, where do you find time to read all the books you read?” Here’s the answer. I leverage “waiting time”—and I’ve been doing so for years now. “Waiting time” is the time I spend waiting for something, someone or to get somewhere.

For instance, when I bring my car to the shop for an oil change or for repairs, I have to wait for the job on the car to get done. I have to choose what I’ll do with that “waiting time”. I can sit passively and stargaze like an owl at night, waiting for my car to be ready, or I can plunge my eyes into a good book while I wait. I opt for the book. During that time, I can also get some writing done (on my phone or in my notebook).

During that time, I can also get some writing done (on my phone or in my notebook).

I do the same when I have to commute by bus. At a time in my life, my commute was about 3 hours a day. You can get a lot of reading (and writing) done during this time.

Incidentally, although my commute time isn’t as long anymore, many of my blog posts are written while I commute on the bus; my commute time is now shared between reading, writing, and listening to podcasts. From time to time, I may respond to emails as well.

I do the same when I’m driving somewhere—except for the writing part, of course! My driving time is “learning time”. Mainly, I listen to inspirational and educational podcasts or other audio material. Side note, when my kids are in the car, they hijack my sounds system: we listen to music…

Side note, when my kids are in the car, they hijack my sounds system: we listen to music…

Instead of simply letting “waiting time” past by, I much rather invest it doing something I deem productive, such as reading a book that can potentially change my life or writing a post that can serve someone.

The point is: Don’t let your “waiting time” slip away but use it productively. You have to wait anyway. Why not make the best use of this time?

Do you travel by plane? That’s a lot of time, that could be used profitably.

Do you commute to work by bus? By train? That’s time you can invest in reading, writing, planning, brainstorming, listening, etc.

Do you have appointments at the dentist? The doctor? The chiropractor?

Do you have to wait for your husband to come pick you up?

If you take an account of all the time you spend waiting, you’ll realize how much time you can leverage to do things that are important to you. You can add 2 or 3 productive hours to your day simply by leveraging your “waiting time” better.

Because reading and writing are important to me, I leverage as many “waiting time” as I can to read and write. And this translates in reading many books and writing thousands of words a year; those short burst of time add up.

Perhaps, you’re not into reading and writing. Find what works for you. How can you use your “waiting time” in a way that adds value to your life? Perhaps, you can plan, brainstorm, or listen to podcasts.

By leveraging “waiting time” you can transform that time—which for most is “wasted time”—into productive time.