How to spend your dead time productively

How to spend your dead time productively
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The idea to write the highly successful Harry Potter series struck while JK Rowling was waiting to board a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990. If you work in a big city such as Nairobi, chances are you spend some hours in traffic every week. Some people spend up to four hours in traffic every working day, or 20 hours in a five-day working week. That’s the equivalent of two and a half working days lost in traffic! Did you know that what you do while stuck in traffic could transform your career and life? Canadian writer Robin Sharma calls this ‘‘Traffic University’’.

Here is how to spend your dead time productively.

Starting your work day without a clear plan of what tasks to execute and how to execute them is to recipe for chaos. Planning ahead lays the groundwork for a smooth day or week, with tasks, clear goals and time slots. What a better place to do this than in traffic. This way, you dive straight into assignments of the day as soon as you get to work.

Listening to podcasts
There is an endless stream of content to consume in today’s world. From serious business and career talks to comical chatter, podcasts have transformed our lives in unimaginable ways. Thankfully, most are free. Besides, topic choices are almost infinite. Just wear your earphones, listen, learn and laugh away.

Learning a new skill
Do you love to cook, bake, knit, draw, carve, paint, or do woodwork? There’s no shortage of websites where you can learn these skills. You could even watch DIY (do it yourself) tutorials on YouTube. These provide simple but valuable skills, usually for free.
Some people have quit their jobs to start profitable ventures out of DIYs. You don’t have to quit yours, though. But wouldn’t an extra income be enticing?

Write away
Struggling to write something owing to time constraints? Maybe a chapter in your upcoming book or thesis. Even journaling. With so much on your hands, the time to scribble in your notebook becomes elusive. How about putting together your ideas while in traffic? And no, you don’t have to write fine copy. Just jot down your random thoughts. You can refine them later.

Evaluating your week
With deadlines to meet and meetings to attend throughout the week, sometimes we don’t have time for much else. Planning and setting targets for your week is one thing. Evaluating your performance is another. To stay on course, go over your plans and targets and grade yourself. If you failed to attain some, identify areas to improve on in the subsequent week.

Your dead time could be your moment of magic. Be smart.

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