As much as you would like to avoid it, there’s no getting away from having to wait. You wait on hold on the telephone, wait for meetings and appointments, wait for hockey practice to end, a spouse to finish work, and wait and wait and wait. Waiting can eat up a fair portion of your time. Good time management puts waiting time to use.

Whether at the office, out and about, or at home, here are seven ways to make use of waiting time:

  • Work your lists: Check your to-do lists, your shopping lists or other reminders; add, subtract or rearrange, as necessary.
  • Work your calendar: If you’re not on the phone, set-up, confirm or reschedule items on your calendar.
  • Sort mail: E-mail, paper mail —whether at work or at home— can be organized while on the phone or watching T.V.
  • Personal/professional development: Read an industry journal or a school assignment. Carry a media player and listen to speakers, trainers or podcasts.
  • Use the phone: If you’re not waiting on the phone, use the time to make or return calls.
  • Work on hobbies: Carry needlework with you. If you draw, carry a sketch book. Carry a digital camera and snap off a few pictures.
  • Structured relaxing: It doesn’t have to be all about efficiency; read a book, solve a crossword puzzle, or play a game on your smartphone.

Make it a practice to carry your “tools” with you and you’ll find you never have to sit twiddling your thumbs while you wait.

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