One of the habits I want to develop in 2016 is to make the most of small pockets of time. You know, those odd 15 minutes here, 5 minutes there. Or, even up to an hour or two with nothing scheduled.
We all have them whether we realize it or not. It’s just a matter of deciding to make the most of them.
How do we do that?
Here are three tips I’m working on to help me out:
Take note of times when you are waiting.
These could be things like waiting in the pick up line at school, at the doctor’s office, or at the mechanic’s shop while getting your car fixed. Plan ahead by taking a book you’ve been wanting to read, work you can complete, or magazines and/or catalogs you need to look at before recycling.
These times of waiting are also great opportunities to get small tasks completed. Use this time to return emails, texts, or catch up on social media. Planning ahead or brain dumping are also great activities to do while waiting.
Identify wasted time.
I discovered a few weeks ago that I had gotten into the habit of spending 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the afternoons after work reading the paper and catching up on social media. I realized that I could make better use of that time by cleaning my home or exercising. Before I identified this wasted time, it was hard for me to fit cleaning and exercising into my schedule. I’m not on a roll totally with this yet, however I am making progress.
Another area I realized I was wasting time is the hours between dinner and bedtime. I usually have about 2 to 2 1/2 hours during this time. Once again I was on my phone or computer catching up on social media while watching tv. My husband and I usually talk during this time too, so it has not been totally wasted. I have felt, though, that there was more I could do to be productive.
So, after asking Steven if this would bother him, I decided to use some of that time to brainstorm blog posts and work on rough drafts. Even if I only spend an hour on this each evening, I still have some time to relax. I can do these activities on my iPad while watching tv and talking to Steven.
Follow the 2 minute rule and take 5.
Once you’ve identified waiting times and wasted time, you can begin to think about what tasks or activities you can take on during those times.
One of my favorite ways to make the most of small pockets of time is using the 2 minute rule. Any activity or task that can be accomplished in 2 minutes or less should be taken care of right away. If you put these small tasks off, you risk accumulating a huge list of tasks and won’t be able to take care of them all.
I also think about tasks that take just 5 minutes to complete. It may help to create a list of these 5 minute tasks so when you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, you can refer to it and do one of the tasks. You can do this with 15 minute tasks as well.
I am planning for a more productive year in 2016 by taking advantage of these small pockets of time.
What are you going to do to be more productive in 2016?