making most of our wait times

Those empty spaces of time when we have to wait can feel a waste of our time and as necessary trouble that we have to put ourselves through. But with a change in our perspective, we can all look at these hollow minutes in a positive light, and instead of dreading them, get excited about them and anticipate them. 

We want to be productive or feel occupied our entire day, and that’s why we pack our schedules down to every single minute. Even in the wait times, we use smartphones to finish pending tasks or worst kill our time. The truth is that we get so busy being busy, we start dreading boredom due to our addiction to hyperactivity. We try to work, get in touch with people or let our attention slide to meaningless content and entertainment. But instead, we can put those empty pockets of time to better use in a few ways that help us energize, revitalize, and bring more joy and inspiration in our life.

Firstly, we can use those moments of nothingness to learn, to listen to audiobooks or podcasts, or close our eyes and listen to a guided meditation and zen out for some time. These are some great avenues to fulfill our commitment to pursue personal and professional growth.

We can also make those wait times as our “no smartphone” zones in our calendar, where instead of playing with our smartphones, we just take those times to stop and think. Think about our goals, our core values, about ways we can increase our income and impact or elevate our lifestyle, and other constructive things. Or maybe journal a bit, or write down some positive affirmations for a better life. As Joshua Fields Millburn writes in Essential, “We used to have precious interstitial zones in which we could find momentary solace: airports, checkout lines, waiting rooms, and other transient sanctuaries in which we could bask in reverie. No longer is this the case. Now, everyone seems to be on their phones during these fleeting moments. They are attempting to be more productive or interactive, but perhaps stopping and thinking is far more productive than fiddling with our phones.”

Another option is to have meaningful face-to-face conversations with people. We can just say no to superficial text conversations and online messages, and instead talk to real humans around us, whether they be strangers or our friends or loved ones. We can discuss projects, ideas and meaningful and impactful topics, which might unlock a whole new level of fun, enjoyment, and genuineness in our interactions. 

Or we can simply use those times to observe the people around us, absorb the surroundings and focus on collecting nuggets of goodness and wisdom that we can bring in our own lives. 

If we choose, we can do a lot in our wait times without doing a lot. Just be more conscious and let those empty spaces be havens of peace, not excuses to become cyber zombies.