Waiting time does not have to be wasted time
We all want to know how to be more productive and efficient with our days but for working moms who need as much parenting advice as they can get, it’s even more necessary.
Most mompreneurs are familiar with the mom-in-business juggling act. Moms juggle work, clients, kids, school, extracurriculars, taxi driving, and home management tasks daily. The trick to staying productive while waiting is finding the tasks you can combine to be most efficient.
When you think about trying to cram more things into your day, one area with slack is the time you spend waiting: wait time.
However, wait time does not have to be wasted time. Moms are constantly taxying or waiting between tasks, jobs, client work, and parenting tasks. And, instead of wasting that time, there are many things to juggle at one time, moms who run their own businesses need to think efficiently about all the time they have!
When you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, the post office, or on hold for the next available representative, consider these simple tasks you could complete, making wait time more productive.
There are several tasks you can do while waiting. But before we get into these productivity tips, consider how we parent and prepare our kids for wait time.
I used to keep a “go bag” of games, colour books, toys, and playdough in the car when my kids were young. Anytime we had to go inside a store, shop or restaurant, the bag came out. The kids could busy themselves with easy, quiet tasks that kept them entertained while they waited for me. It made the unending wait time go by much faster. And, it kept my kids entertained and out of trouble.
Have you ever considered applying this idea to make your mom wait time more productive? Are you prepped and ready to get stuff done while waiting on the kids?
Do you have a “go bag” loaded with things to keep you productive while you wait? Although you can’t avoid wait time as a mom, you can change your mind about it.
Here are five pieces of parenting advice to be more productive and efficient as a working mom:
1. Catch and communicate
If you complain you never have time to catch up with friends and relatives, end the complaint. Make wait time productive. Use wait time productively to process snail mail, write “thank you” notes you’ve been putting off, or make calls.
One way to stay productive is to tote a package of “Thank You” notes with you. This way you’ll always have them and can write one while you wait.
Another ingredient to using wait time productively is updating your contacts. Use wait time productively to sort and update your electronic lists, and be sure you have the most current contact info in your database.
By the way, when was the last time you called your mother?
The trick to staying productive while waiting is finding the tasks you can combine to be most efficient
2. Read and research
Mobile devices have completely changed the way we communicate and learn. Today, all you need to do research is Wi-Fi and a smartphone. Spend wait time productively by using it to dig deep. Research is abundant online.
Another way to use wait time productively is to read. Have you considered downloading a book on your phone?
So instead of feeling stressed, you can read that book, research an article, or listen to a recorded book while you wait.
A third way to make wait time productive is to write. Most mobile devices have a ‘notes’ function. Or, if you have Wi-Fi, you can easily capture ideas using Google Drive.
There are apps that turn talk into text. When you use them you can avoid the small keyboard and typing it out. Writing is a great way to make your idle wait time more productive.
4. Relax and renew
Android phones, iPod, tablets, and readers have even made it possible for you to instantly tap into relaxation. There are so many stress management apps available. If you’ve always wanted to try meditation, try apps like Calm and Headspace.
Another way to use wait time productively is to simply relax. Spotify is a great online listening app. You can create your own playlists, or follow others. Playlists are listed by genre, artist, decade, or interests. It’s really fun and free.
Using wait time to relax and renew is essential to managing the daily stressors. So consider taking a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and stretch!
5. Plan and schedule
Managing time productively is an essential skill for busy moms. Since wait time can feel endless and unproductive, one of the best ways to make it productive is to use it for planning. An online calendar is only as good as it is current. So, to stay productive, review your calendar for the coming weeks and remind yourself what is ahead.
Use wait time productively to confirm appointments, or reschedule to reprioritise. Planning and scheduling are often overlooked time management tasks. They are different, but essential to preparing, juggling and managing your time productively. And, there are loads of apps that can help you stay productive during the wait time.
Using your wait time to knock easy, one-and-done items off your task list is a great way to be more productive!
Smartphones, tablets, and readers have even made it possible for you to connect, write, read, research, renew, relax, plan, communicate, sort e-mail, or even shop.
In fact, my husband was remarking the other day that he was able to order new toothbrushes while we were en route to a family dinner! Use these tips above to make your idle wait time productive.
Cena Block is a Productivity Consultant and Certified Organizer Coach (COC) for professional women and entrepreneurs with ADHD. She is also the CEO of Sane Spaces and creator of the Time & Space Style Inventory™.