A pot of water does not boil faster if you stare at!
At work today I ended up having to fix a bunch of things with my work laptop. I updated my operating system, recovered a bunch of files from a backup disk, had to free up space on my hard drive when it maxed out, had to reinstall a whole bunch of software, etc.
A lot of these tasks required some activity to initiate, and then they just automatically run their course for 20-30 minutes or even an hour or longer for some tasks.
During the waiting periods I found myself just staring at the computer screen. As if my staring would make it go any faster!
Once aware of this I used the time to do some yoga in my office, write things down on a paper that I needed to get done and take care of a few conversations I had to have with co-workers.
It made me acutely aware at how much “slack” time we all have waiting around for things. Waiting for people. Waiting for traffic. Waiting for the copier. Waiting for a phone call. Waiting for a lane to open up at the swimming pool. Waiting for a dinner partner to show up. Waiting for a computer to boot. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Waiting isn’t inherently bad but the time could be better spent doing any number of things:
- Stretch your back and legs out
- Read something meaningful
- Do some open eyed meditation
- Take 10 deep breaths
- Call someone you care about
- Doodle something cute
- Make a list of goals (or better, things you’ve already accomplished that week/month/day that you are proud of)
Anything but waiting around!