Make Your Wait Productive
Whether you’re waiting for a train or chose the wrong cashier at the grocery store (if you hear “price check” one more time…), biding your time in line can make you feel agitated and impatient. But you can actually be productive when you’re just standing around. Here’s how.
Make a to-do list. Keeping a pen and paper in your purse always comes in handy, especially when you’re waiting in line. You could ask the guy behind you to play tic-tac-toe, but you’re better off using it to jot down a to-do list. Rather than letting millions of undone tasks float around in your head, just spending five minutes to write them down will make you feel accomplished.
Get Zen. You can’t go anywhere, so you might as well just chill out. Literally. Do some discreet meditating by trying a technique called “mindful breathing” to clear your head and feel relaxed. The main idea is to simply focus on your breathing; acknowledge and then push away all distracting thoughts for a few blissful minutes. Experts say that doing this daily can reduce stress and make you feel more balanced.
Take inventory. Split ends? Check. Manicure? Chipping. Pedicure? Can you even call it that anymore? We all get so busy that sometimes our regular “maintenance” routines get lost in the shuffle. While you’re waiting for stamps, why not take notice of things you need to get done for you? Schedule a haircut if it’s been six months and take a mental note to stop in for that mani/pedi special. (But please don’t whip out the dental floss. That’s a job much more suited for the bathroom.)
Clean out your wallet. If your wallet is so packed you can barely close it, consider a little cleanup a fun project for passing the time. Organize your credit cards, business-card collection, and money into the right compartments. Remove useless receipts (like the one from Chinese takeout you picked up a month ago) to lighten your load.
Catch up on calls. You definitely don’t want to be “that girl” talking 10 decibels louder than everyone else, but if you can keep your voice at a respectable level, definitely return those calls you’ve been meaning to. This way Grandma can’t say you never call her…
Feed your brain. Read the magazine that’s been in your bag all week, do a crossword puzzle, or get to the last chapter of the book you’ve been dying to finish. Even if you just want to play Brickbreaker on your BlackBerry, being stuck in line is more fun when you have something to keep your mind moving!