Time is always running out. Everyday it’s fleeting. The seconds are ticking away and we feel helpless.
The biggest excuse we often run to when we don’t meet our goals or ambitions is to say there isn’t enough time. It may be true that your day is jam packed and that you literally can’t squeeze anything into your schedule. You can’t find time for a workout, for meditation, for books, and so on.
Yet there’s often one place we tend to overlook when we make this assertion. It is there every day and often in ample quantity. It is the in between moments of your day, the pockets of time you spend waiting or moving between tasks.
These periods are often underutilized and could very well be how you fit in that new habit you’ve been trying to build. To start, let’s look at where these pockets exist.
Where are these pockets in time?
So what am I talking about exactly? What are these pockets of time that we can take advantage of? They are often smaller periods of time that we rarely notice. These are the daily commutes or the time spent doing chores.
These pockets happen regularly throughout the day. Most of the time we spend them staring at our phones or maybe listening to music, but they can be used much more effectively.
Here are some more examples of daily pockets in found in a typical day:
Daily commute (driving, walking, or taking public transport)
Workout out (at the gym, running, biking, etc)
Doing chores (laundry, dishes, cleaning)
Food (cooking & eating)
Shopping (groceries & clothing)
Using the restroom (you know what I mean)
Waiting (for a ride, for your shower to get hot, for the train to arrive)
These are the most common examples, but you can surely see there are many pockets of time throughout your days. Moreover, when you add them all up, they equal a significant portion of the day.
Usually these opportunities are wasted, but if we take notice of them, we can start to take advantage of them. Here’s how.
What to do during pockets of time?
Usually we’re looking at smaller chunks of time, maybe a few minutes here and there. Of course some can be much longer, like your lunch break or your commute. Whatever it is, there’s a way to fill that time in in a productive manner. Here are some examples of what you could be doing in these moments.
1. Listen to podcasts/audiobooks.
This is probably my go to use of these in between moments. I always have books and podcasts queued up to listen to whenever I get a chance. Whether I’m at the gym, on a drive, or even making breakfast in the morning, listening to something can be a great use of time.
I personally like doing this earlier in the day, so that I can get inspired and get my mind working right off the bat. Some of my favorite podcasts are the Tim Ferriss Podcast, 99% Invisible, and Revisionist History.
2. Do a quick workout.
If you don’t have time to hit the gym or even if you do, it can be easy to sneak in some push-ups or pull-ups or crunches here and there. Maybe you’re brewing a cup of coffee. Maybe you’re heating up some food.
Doing a quick set of exercises and stretches can add up to a strenuous workout and yield big results. Don’t overlook the impact of accumulation.
3. Find a moment of peace
We all know we should meditate, but we often don’t find the time to do so. These pockets of time are the perfect moments to begin this new habit.
4. Phone a friend.
I know I’m bad at it, but I wish I stayed in better touch with my friends and family, but where do I find the time? I’ve realized that when I’m doing chores is actually the perfect opportunity.
Call up your good friend from college or your mom (we should all be calling mom more), while you’re folding laundry or putting away dishes. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but it’s important to stay in touch with those you care about.
5. Learn something new.
Whether it’s a new language or how to code, there’s an app for that, which means you can learn literally anything during these in- between moments. Next time you’re waiting on a friend to show up to dinner, try and learn something new.
Time is what we want most but what we use worst.William Penn
These pockets of time are everywhere and how we can use them are limitless. If you pay attention and actively try to take advantage of them, you can start to build many positive habits and start to meet the goals you’ve been striving for.
The time is there, you just need to notice it.