You have a few minutes of unexpected down time.
Do you make use of it?
Or do you spend it surfing the news or playing Candy Crush?
A secret of highly productive people is that they know how to make the most of their in-between time.
The Time In-between
When you don’t have enough time, one of two things is happening.
You are truly overloaded, in which case you need to assess your work.
Or more likely, you are not making good use of the time you have.
We all have the same amount of time in the day, the key is making the best use of it.
Chances are, you are frittering away much of your time “in-between” the events of your day.
5 minutes after that meeting… 10 minutes in a waiting room… or even the last 15 minutes before lunch.
These small moments add up. You may be letting several hours slip through your fingers.
What could you accomplish with an additional two hours in your day?
Much of your day is spent in-between activities.
Between meetings. Before appointments. Waiting in line. And more.
Making use of this time can make all the difference.
It’s not about cramming as much into your day as possible, never taking a moment to breathe.
Rather, it’s about being smart with the small amounts of extra time and using them in a smart manner to get your work done.
“It’s not about squeezing endless tasks into your day, but rather fitting productive tasks into the time you have.”
If you are losing your time to the in-between, you need to keep in mind the small tasks that you could fit into those times. Even five minutes is long enough to accomplish many of the todos on your list.
Here are 10 Tasks To Keep You Productive in Your Time In-Between:
- Email – It seems the email monster follows you everywhere these days. On your phone, iPad, and more. While I don’t recommend incessantly checking it, email can be a great in-between task. Take care of 5 emails during that unexpected wait. Or get your inbox one step closer to zero. Attacking your email during quick breaks also ensures that you keep responses short.
- Read – Having a good book with you used to mean lugging around a book even when you didn’t need it. Now, you can keep dozens of books at your fingertips on your mobile device. I usually have 5-10 books on my Kindle app or iBooks.
- Check Your List – Use those few extra minutes to check your todo list. You can make sure that you are doing your top priorities, or let your list remind you of that task that you wrote down so you wouldn’t have to remember it.
- Prepare for Your Next Event – Use those few minutes of downtime to get ahead of what you need to do next. What can you get ready for? Prepare for your next meeting or appointment. Read the pertinent notes or details so that you will be ready.
- Breathe – Sometimes you just need to take a break. And those 5 minutes between meetings are a great time to recharge. Take a moment to breathe deeply. Better yet, get up and go outside for a quick walk.
- Small Tasks – Those little tasks on your list are perfectly suited for quick moments of time. These are often the “little things” that slip through the cracks. However, these tasks are perfect for when you have “just a few minutes.”
- Phone Calls – Ever have a phone call that you have failed to return for days? Yet, you probably had your phone on you at all times. Sometimes we forget that. Five or ten minutes is the perfect amount of time to return a call or two. Make sure you set expectations that you only have 5 minutes. It’s a great way to keep calls short, as well.
- Write in Your Journal – Many find it hard to find time to write in their journal. You don’t have to write your autobiography. Simply jot down a few sentences about your day.
- Learn Something – You might think that a few minutes isn’t enough time to study something new. However, I keep e-learning courses bookmarked on my iPad, and I listen to my favorite podcasts on my iPhone. These are great when you are unexpectedly waiting (like the doctor’s office) or during your commute (podcasts and audio books).
- Talk to Someone You Are With – It seems these days that during a wait people immediately go to their phones. Yet, a few minutes here or there can be a great time to actually communicate with the person you are with. This is especially important when you are with your spouse or kids. A five-minute conversation could make their (and your) day.
Reclaim Your In-between Time
Much of your day is lost to being in-between.
Reclaim the small amounts of time between the big events in your day.
You will discover that a few minutes here and there add up quickly.
And you might just find that you do have the time, after all.Question: How do you make the most use of your in-between time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.