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31 Aug

Do something else!

Datum: 2011-08-31 12:30

I am sure you have expe­ri­enced hin­drances in what you do in some way, shape or form. 

For instance, you have been kept wait­ing for some­one to return before you can resume work­ing. Per­haps you are wrestling with an ancient and inex­orably slow ERP sys­tem where you have to wait for the screen to be updat­ed, for the report to be gen­er­at­ed, for the com­put­er to be done pro­cess­ing before you pro­ceed to fill in the miss­ing entries. 

Not to men­tion all those queues we have been stuck in when we are about to pur­chase some­thing, pick some­thing up or fly some­where. Well, I am sure you are filled to the brim with sim­i­lar examples. 

Isn’t it frustrating?

But, you can avoid this awful frus­tra­tion alto­geth­er if you take mat­ters into your own hands and instead make use of the sit­u­a­tion being what it is. 

Rather than mop­ing and being aggra­vat­ed by the sys­tem being slow or rigid, or that the com­put­er must reboot (“Do not turn off the com­put­er. Updates are being installed. The com­put­er will shut down auto­mat­i­cal­ly…”), do some­thing else while you are waiting. 

For­mu­late some­thing, sketch some­thing you want to work on, make a phone call. 

Do what­ev­er you can now which you will need to do lat­er any­way. Not so much because you need to, almost with com­pul­sion, fill every wak­en moment with use­ful activ­i­ties, as for that you want to avoid becom­ing irri­tat­ed, since that is what is real­ly drain­ing you of your ener­gy, joy and vigor.

Try this

In order to be well pre­pared once these sit­u­a­tions occur, do the following:

  1. Decide upon a spe­cif­ic way in which you mark the to-do-tasks which are good can­di­dates” for being a task you can do while wait­ing for some­thing else. It needs to be a way which match­es the for­mat of your list. If you keep your list by using the Out­look task-func­tion, you have the pos­si­bil­i­ty of adding a col­umn which you only use for the sole pur­pose of tag­ging the tasks good for fill­ing time oth­er­wise spend wait­ing. If your list is in some oth­er dig­i­tal for­mat, it might be pos­si­ble for you to set up a sep­a­rate cat­e­go­ry, type or group which will sym­bol­ize that the task is an appro­pri­ate in-waiting-for…”-task. If your list is on reg­u­lar paper – make a cer­tain squig­gle by each task of this type or high-light them with a par­tic­u­lar mark­er. Or, do this step in some oth­er way entire­ly which suits you better.
  2. Now go though your to-do-list and tag all the tasks you can have pre­pared, all ready to be com­plet­ed when you for a moment are stuck with what you are pri­mar­i­ly involved in and can­not progress immediately.
  3. When you are in the mid­dle of doing some­thing you already know will mean peri­ods of wait­ing, chose one of these tagged tasks from your to-do-list and get out the mate­r­i­al you will need to do it (open the doc­u­ment, the spread-sheet, or what ever it might require, in a win­dow which you keep open in the back­ground), so that you quick­ly can switch activ­i­ty to the alter­na­tive when you have a moment of pause in your pri­ma­ry task.

A well made swop

If you do this and trade the frus­tra­tion for a feel­ing of ener­gy and vig­or, your life will momen­tar­i­ly become sig­nif­i­cant­ly more pleas­ant and you will even get more done, which will in turn con­tribute to you feel­ing and being less stressed than you would otherwise. 

That’s a good swop, wouldn’t you say?

How do you do it?

What is to you a per­fect exam­ple of a killing-time”-task to do while you are wait­ing for some­thing? Leave a com­ment to let oth­ers know.