If you are an ”eager beaver” such as myself, then you do not like being kept waiting. Do not get me wrong. I also enjoy ”doing nothing”, which is something you do anyway, such as walking, reflecting, contemplating and eating ice-cream on a bench in the park.
So I do not feel the need of getting things done all the time, but being kept involuntarily waiting when I would like to finish something is not my thing.
Slower than molasses
When the computer is starting slower than we had expected, when the document is taking forever to print, when the line to the post office is several meters long and when the colleague is working at a slower pace than we would want them to, it is not necessarily the case that we can not do something else. Rather, we simply cannot do what we had in mind.
Something which you never have time for
If we want and choose to, there is always something we can do. If we are at the office, there are surely things on our to-do-list which are marked with the context ”@office” and which we might not be dependent on having our computer to perform. It could for instance be sifting through that old pile in the bookshelf while waiting for the computer to start. As long as we have our smartphone when on the move, we can take the opportunity to check a few things @internet when standing in line for something. Since we ”always have our mind with us”, we can take out a piece of paper and outline the agenda for next week’s meeting even if the ”Fasten seat belt”-sign is lit and no electronic devices may be switched on.
If we still get something done when we do not just want to be kept waiting, then being put on hold in some way will not be so bad after all. Besides, we then manage to do more of the things we have to do. It’s as simple as that!
- If you want to, decide to write down all the times you were kept waiting today on a note as soon as you notice that you are being held in suspension somehow. Make it as easy as possible. It is enough to have a PostIt-note on your desk or in your pocket throughout the day.
- When you realize that you waiting for something, write down what you are waiting for and where you are.
- Try thinking of something you can do while waiting. Write this down as well.
- At the end of the day, create a cheat-sheet listing the situations you were kept waiting in and what you could do in each and every one of these when they occur next time.
- Save the cheat-sheet where you keep your checklists, routine-descriptions, templates and other structural guides which help your throughout your workday.
- When you find yourself waiting and feel the frustration rising, take out the cheat-sheet and get a tip from yourself on what you can do instead of suffering from your circumstances.
Discard the discontentment
If you map out the (probably) recurring situations when you will be kept waiting or be put on hold throughout your workday, it will be easier to think of what you can do while your are waiting. You will get more done and feel less discontentment and annoyance. And no, you do not have to work every single minute of the day, but when you do want to work, there will now be something available for you to do.
What is your way?
How do you avoid waisting time while waiting? Tell me!