10 Productive Things To Do While Waiting

10 Productive Things To Do While Waiting

Hello! It’s been a hot minute away, hasn’t it? Sigh! Everything just seems to be happening at the same time, so I had to take a pause to get some balance, with school getting busier and more stressful, having to juggle many activities and professional exams coming up.

In the midst of these, my phone decided to act up (with a boot loop) last weekend. I made my way to the service center (CarlCare) to get it fixed and was told to wait awhile. Thinking it was an issue that would take a short time to get resolved, I took a seat and ended up waiting for over 2 hours and at the end, was still told to come back another day.


Slightly miffed, I would have lashed out at them for telling me to wait rather than just go and come back another day from the start, but I understood that it wasn’t really their fault, they probably thought it could be fixed on the spot. Thankfully though, my hours didn’t go by in vain because I got some productive stuff done while waiting, which brings me to the meat of the matter…..

How do you add value to your waiting time? I mean, at many points, we have to spend time waiting, for instance, at the bank, airport, in traffic, etc., and sometimes we end up spending more time than planned. So what productive things can you do while waiting so those hours (or even minutes) don’t get wasted?

I have ten suggestions:

10 Productive Things To Do While Waiting

1. Read: Of course, this had to come first! If you are always complaining about lack of time to read, there’s no better time to catch up on a backlog of books than while waiting. On the bank queue, at the airport, in transit waiting to get to your destination, etc., you can sneak in a few more pages of reading rather than just stare into space.

I recommend having a book with you and if you don’t like carrying books around, you can just read e-books on your phone. You never know how much progress you can make during that waiting period. For instance, I had another reader enabled phone with me at CarlCare, so I took the time to start and finish Rudy Francisco’s poem collection, Helium (which I really love by the way), revised a school slide and even got almost halfway through another book.

Reading while waiting

2. Make lists: Drawing up to-do, to-call, shopping and even bucket lists is a good and productive way to use up time. You can also use the wait time to think, make/adjust plans ahead, jot reminders and fine tune details so you can just go right to executing them later.

3. Catch up: This might be an opportunity to catch up on people and stuff you’ve shifted aside because you’ve been too busy. Make/return calls, read and reply texts messages and Whatsapp chats, sort your mail, etc. You can even catch up on the news and track your orders while waiting. Whatever you do, that’s one more thing gotten out of the way.

4. Learn something new: Watch a 5 to 10-minute YouTube tutorial, complete a YALI course (and even get a certificate in less than an hour), watch a TED Talk, Google and read up on something new, etc. There are many learning resources around, so why not make your hours count by adding to your knowledge ?

5. Write: Draft a new blog post, start/develop that book, jot some song lyrics, write a poem, make a journal entry, even note down random ideas that can be developed later. The idea for this post came while waiting and I started jotting some points.

Write while waiting

6. Make a new friend: It doesn’t hurt to strike up a conversation with your neighbour on the line and possibly make a new friend or at least share and learn some new things. See it as a good way to practice and hone your networking skills and, who knows what might come out of that? For instance, I made some of my first few friends in the University while waiting in line for library and course form registration in my 100level.

7. Wander and Ponder: So you probably have a jumble of thoughts running across your mind, but intentionally let your imagination play around in the right direction. Imagine alternate endings, ruminate on ideas, think deep about something you learnt recently, consider alternatives and possible solutions to a problem, etc. All these could spark something amazing and creative.

8. Doodle away: Engage your creative side by making some sketches or doodling. This is a good way to ease tension and have fun. My favourite things to doodle are space filling line patterns (perfect or not) like this one below.

Space-filling doodles
Space-Filling Doodles

9. Meditate: Waiting it out can be frustrating and meditating can calm and clear your mind. Mind you, it does not necessarily mean getting into a special posture and chanting, your normal sitting position is OK and you can just chill and relax.

10. Get plugged in: Listen to the news or interesting discussion on radio, podcasts, speeches, audio lessons or even jam some really good music.

And that’s it! Next time you’re held up somewhere, rather than chew your nails and twiddle your fingers, get some productive stuff done and add value to your waiting time.
So, over to you, how do you fill your waiting time? Did you find these suggestions helpful? Share in my comments below!
– The Value Adder


32 thoughts on “10 Productive Things To Do While Waiting”

  1. Okay, here it is…

    He’s awake, I must be awake too. (Talking about Jesulontojumi)

    She chose to be awake too and what can I do than to be as well. (For national peace to reign)

    Thanks to them both for reordering and re- prioritizing my bedtime (smiles)

    And while waiting on them both, I chose to be engaged with the valueadder.

    Now equipped more!

    Thanks dear colleague

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So one thing I tried doing today while I walked to buy food was read this lol. Very interesting. I feel like if we do not take charge of our waiting time we’ll actually waste a lot of lives being that these days, the queues are endless. Plus, yes ooooo 100 level days were avenues to meet people that share the same public discomfort called a queue. I’ll share this. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True that! It can get very frustrating, knowing there’s a million other things you could be doing with the time.
      Lol at “public discomfort “. It’s even worse when it’s almost your turn and the lecturer goes “I’m done for today, come back on Monday “. Like bruh! I’ve been here all day wasting time!

      Anyway, thanks for coming dear💕


  3. I’m just like this! I utilize all of these steps a lot except for doodling.

    While walking back to my hostel last night I was wondering what to do to save time, I ended up calling my friend who’s serving in the north and I hadn’t heard from due to procrastination on my part.

    When it comes to meditation though, it often turns to random thoughts and I have to bring myself right back.

    I think the challenge most times is when your phone battery is flat because most activities have to be done on the phone. Obviously there are still options available.
    This is a brilliant blog post idea Esther. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks boo. For meditation, it’s good tat you bring yourself back, before yeye stuff start playing in your head. It could be on a Bible verse, an affirmation, etc.

      And true about the phone ish. That’s why I carry my jotter around most times, or find someone to gist with or just tune out.


    1. Yes please! A long overdue rest at that. Another thing that can help is to keep track of your day. Like jot down the things you want to do in a day or what you did that day or even both. So you can track how productive you’ve been. Gives that extra ginger to make good use of time. Thanks for coming!


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