Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
Finding time for everything we need to do can be tough. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. So, what often happens is that we use minutes or hours from our family, work, or fun time. But, have you considered taking advantage of idle time like waiting for an appointment or standing in line instead?
By doing this, you can not only leave those minutes and hours where they belong but also remain efficient, effective, and productive with your time.
1. Riding to the Office or School
When you are a passenger in a car pool or on a form of public transportation, you can easily use that ride time for more than staring out the window. Maybe you normally look at your daily agenda or review documents and reports. But, wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy that last bit of free time before you begin working?
To start the morning off right, try taking that commute time to energize your brain for the day ahead of you. Whether you like guided meditation, breathing exercises, or methods of relaxation, riding to your destination is a great time for it.
Calm is a relaxation tool. You can enjoy sounds of nature with lovely scenery to match. If you practice meditation, you will find several guided and unguided sessions. As a bonus, Calm includes a Sleep Stories section to help you at bedtime. For relaxation and meditation before you begin your day, Calm is a wonderful app.
2. Arriving for an Appointment
While some offices such as doctors and dentists still offer magazines in their waiting rooms, things have certainly changed. Now, you notice more people using their mobile devices rather than turning physical pages as they wait. And, if you have saved articles to read later, there is no better time to dig into them than in a waiting room.
One of the most popular apps for saving articles for later is Pocket. You can save articles, videos, and images with a click or a tap. Pocket offers web access, browser extensions, and mobile apps for easy access and saving. Hold onto your favorites, organize items with tags, and follow other users to check out recommendations.
3. Standing in Line
Whether you are standing in line for the bus, at the post office, or in the supermarket checkout lane, use that time to your advantage. With these few minutes you have to spare, take a glance at your inbox. This is not always the ideal time to thoroughly read important emails, but it is the perfect time to get rid of those you do not need.
There is no quicker way for you to zip through your inbox than with Mailswipe. Your messages are displayed as cards. Then, with simple swipes, you can move emails to the trash or save them for later. The app is available for free with one email account. However, with in-app purchases you can set up more email accounts with a unified inbox or receive the unsubscribe action.
Download [No Longer Available]
4. Taking a Break
You might get a nice break between classes on campus or during your work day in the office or at home. Either way, break time is a great instance for getting things done that you may not have time for later. Do you need to purchase more dog food? Do you have to buy a birthday gift? Are you ready to order more household supplies? Why not make break time shop time?
Amazon is a leader when it comes to online shopping and picking out products on-the-go could not be easier. From gifts and collectibles to household, pet, and cleaning supplies, Amazon has it all. Whether you want to search for items and add them to your cart, pop them into your wish list, or use the convenient 1-click shopping, you are set with fast shopping options.
5. Waiting on a Friend
Picture yourself waiting for your kids at the bus stop, your pet groomer to finish up, or that pal you are picking up from the airport. Do you know what this is a good time for? Podcasts! Try catching up on your favorite shows or check out new ones. Between educational courses, entertaining programs, and business shows, there is a podcast for everyone.
Pocket Casts offers a terrific variety of podcasts. You can browse by networks like Forbes, ESPN, and The New Yorker. Or, skim through categories such as comedy, health, and science. The app has a clean interface with simple settings for playback, notifications, and appearance. Just download the podcasts you like and listen anywhere you go.
More Great Idle Time Tools
Here is a handful of additional apps that you might enjoy when you have minutes to spare:
- Breathe2Relax for breathing exercises: Android (Free) | iOS (Free)
- Flipboard for news and RSS feeds: Android (Free) | iOS (Free)
- Stitcher Radio for podcasts: Android (Free) | iOS (Free)
- Goodreads for finding new books: Android (Free) | iOS (Free)
How Do You Use Your Idle Time?
Keeping those precious times we set aside for friends, family, fun, and even business are important. So, try to use those little moments when you are riding, waiting, or taking a break efficiently. Do you take advantage of those minutes standing in line or waiting for a friend?
If you would like to share how you use your idle time, we would love to hear from you!
Image Credit: bokan via Shutterstock