Pass Time Productively

How to Pass the Time, Productively


By Nicole Bandes

Founder, CEO of Virtual A Team

Read more by Nicole

Finding ways to productively pass the time isn’t a new challenge related only to COVID-19. We’ve always struggled with the “extra” time we find on our hands. You know, that time while we are waiting for the next appointment or meeting. Or maybe it’s the time sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the Doc to come in.

We find ourselves waiting a lot.

Make the Most of Precious Time

We spend nearly 16 days every year of our lives waiting.  It seems we are always waiting for something or someone.

  • Doctors appointments
  • School ‘pick-up’
  • Movies
  • Meetings
  • Travel, and more!

With all this waiting, we can almost feel our productivity draining and time management flying out the window!

Rather than wasting that precious time, how can you get the most out of it?

Note: I first wrote this article 6 years ago, in 2014 when Smartphones were still pretty new. I’ve updated it to reflect the technology and also added a few things that we can do while at home waiting for Stay-At-Home orders to be lifted.

Like many things technology-related, smartphones are both a blessing and a curse. Words with Friends or Candy Crush may seem like a great way to quickly pass time while you are waiting for your next appointment or meeting.  However, there are things you can do, with or without a smartphone, that will increase your productivity.

How to Pass the time, PRODUCTIVELY!

Let’s start with short bursts. These are all things you can do in 10 minutes or less.

Things to do in 10 min or less

That Canceled Meeting or COVID-19

Finding yourself with more time than expected doesn’t have to be a negative thing. You might get frustrated if you had an appointment no-show or a client canceled at the last minute.

I used to get very upset when this would happen. I wanted to call up the person and tell them how rude they were. Then, I realized that I suddenly had the gift of a little extra free time. When I began to change my perspective, people stopped canceling. Now that’s a little voodoo magic! Ok, maybe not but it’s crazy how a shift in our own mindset seems to have an effect on how others behave.

COVID-19 is definitely more than just a canceled meeting. Many of my clients find themselves with a LOT more time on their hands. Once you allow yourself the opportunity to feel the feelings related to the current situation, you can move to the next step - making the MOST out of it.

Pro Tip

Take a few moments to create your own list of ways you can productively pass the time so you’ll have a go-to. Make it easy to access and divide it by time it takes to complete. ex: 10 min, one hour, one day...

Have even more time on your hands? There are times when we unexpectedly have more free time on our hands. Maybe it’s a canceled meeting or a delayed flight. Here are things that take a little longer but are still a great way to productively pass the time.

  1. Take an online class, there are lots of free ones available or pay for one that’s specific to your goals.
  2. Exercise. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and get sweaty. Take a walk or do a dance in your office.
  3. Work on a project you’ve been avoiding or putting off.
  4. Review and revise your goals.
  5. Discover, or rediscover, a hobby. 

Passing the time doesn’t have to be wasted on things like silly apps or Netflix marathons. We can use that time effectively to expand and grow as human beings. 

The Ultimate Guide to Delegating

Don't stop now! You'll also love this other great content...