6 Ways to Turn Idle Time into Productive Time


When was the last time you were stuck in traffic, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office, or tapping your toes until it was time to leave work? Spending ten or fifteen minutes idle can be annoying - it feels like you're just wasting time. But if you plan ahead, you can actually put these bits of time to good use. Here are six ideas for staying occupied and productive when you find yourself with a pocket of free time.


You might be at loose ends now, but you probably won't be later. Take advantage of lulls in your day to think about what you still need to accomplish and how you'll structure your work. When you get back to business, you'll hit the ground running, and you'll probably get everything done more quickly than you would have otherwise.

Sneak in some reading

Get into the habit of carrying a book with you. Reading is the perfect filler for those little pockets of time you would otherwise have spent twiddling your thumbs, and slipping in a few extra pages here and there really adds up.

Clear out your email inbox

You were going to have to do it anyways, so why not work on cleaning up your inbox when you don't have anything else to do? It only takes a few minutes of deleting old emails and spam every day to keep your inbox clear.

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If you've got a few idle minutes at home or at work, use them to tidy up. File some papers, straighten your desk, or wash a few dishes. You'll thank yourself later!

Listen to audiobooks

If you've got a pocket of time when you can't read (because, say, you're driving), audiobooks are a great alternative. You get all the benefits of reading, but your eyes stay on the road. Podcasts are another option to make your morning commute more interesting.


If you're a writer, spare bits of time present the perfect opportunity to get an extra hundred words down on paper. If you're not a writer, you can still benefit from scribbling when the opportunity arises. Jot down a to-do list, capture that great idea you had earlier, or make a short journal entry.

Time is the most valuable resource anybody has, so it's a shame to squander it. Pick your favorite of these tips and put it into practice next time you're not sure what to do with yourself. You'll keep yourself from being bored and get something productive done, too!

About the author: Brian Carroll is the CEO of Pivot Insurance and holds CLU & CPCU designations. He has been part of the life insurance industry for over 30 years. He is also an avid runner and has participated in many athletic endurance events. Brian established the anonymous life insurance quote process here at Pivot and takes pride in the caring and professional staff. You can reach Brian at 1-800-651-1953 or bcarroll@pivot.com.

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