Recently I had time to fill in while waiting in the car. I had not brought a book with me because I had not expected to have to wait for the person I was picking up. I did not have my note book with me either. What can one do to make use of the unexpected ‘spare’ time? Think of it as some ‘me’ time, not as an inconvenience.
• Use this time to pray, meditate or do whatever you find works to help you with life.
• Spend time daydreaming. This is not wasting time. Research at the University of British Columbia discovered when we day dream areas of the brain linked to solving complex problems are more active than when a person is focusing on a routine task.
• Take some deep breaths. Take notice of your surroundings. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell? Live in the moment.
If it is daylight there are more things you can do.
• Now is a good time to clean out your purse, handbag and glove box, depending on what needs tidying. Bad luck if you are so organised that none of these things need to be sorted and organised. You will have to find something else to do to fill in your time.
• Clean out the boot of your car and the back seat. Fold up all those loose shopping bags and organise them. If there is a bin nearby, put any rubbish in it. Otherwise tuck it into a spare plastic bag or other container and put in the bin as soon as you get home.
• Hopefully you have a piece of paper in your handbag, on the floor of the car or the glove box. Now you can make lists. This could be a shopping list, meals for the next week, to-do list or your goals.
• Do you have glass cleaner and paper towel, newspaper, tissues or some paper serviettes in your car? Clean your windows and mirrors. Even if you just have a paper serviette you could do some dusting.
• If you have the appropriate manicure items in your handbag or glove box now is a good time to clean your finger nails and file them if necessary. Apply some hand cream.
• Make notes in your diary.
• Tidy up your mobile phone. Delete old messages and phone logs. Are there numbers in your contact list which you will never use again? Delete them now.
• Write a short poem. Try writing a cinquain. The first line is a noun. The second line consists of two adjectives to describe that noun. The third line is three verbs to do with the noun. The next line is four words which show how you feel about the subject of your poem. The fifth line is either the first word repeated or a synonym for it to neatly wrap the poem up. Here is an example
• Plan your next article if you are a writer. When do you think the idea for this article came into my head? Where did I find the time to jot down notes for it?
If you have to wait for someone when you didn’t expect to you can react by feeling stressed and irritated. Alternatively, you can just make good use of that time and that includes just sitting quietly and enjoying your own company.