Health and Wellness

7 Ways To Make Wait Times Fly By

Are you good at waiting? Not me. Especially now that I am spoiled by years of fast Internet (most of the time), digital photos, Prime shipping, and auto-fill forms. 

But not everything is quick and easy. As I write this (pre-COVID) I am waiting with at least 50 other women to get a mammogram.  

I wait to get it, then wait to have it read, then I usually get called back for more images. I wait again for second reading. Three hours later, I’m home.

I get that waiting is a part of life.  I am prepared for today’s wait. Otherwise, waiting for me is torture.

Restaurants,  grocery stores, drive-throughs, 1-800 customer service, airports, free package deliveries, amusement park lines, traffic, test results. We are always waiting for something.  Instead of  popping your cork, why not put that wait time to good use?

According to,

wait times

My fellow Impatienatos, I give you

7 tips to make your wait time more productive

  • Play cards. Keep a standard deck of cards handy. This is my secret for making restaurant waiting tolerable. There are so many quick, fun games to play you may be disappointed to see your food finally arrive.
  • Read. A magazine, book, or newspaper. Leaf through the latest issue of National Geographic. Bring a short read like Neil Gaiman’s Art Matters.
  • Learn a new language. Try Duolingo. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can learn some useful phrases. 

Aprender un nuevo idioma es bueno para el cerebro.*

  • Clean out your wallet. Throw out old coupons, organize your cards, get your dollar bills all neat and tidy.
  • Strike up a conversation. You’re both in the same predicament, why not chitchat and maybe make a new friend?
  • Write.  If I didn’t have to wait, I wouldn’t have written this post. Write a letter, a poem, an essay, or a list of things you need to do.


  • Relax, breathe and just wait. Finally, an opportunity to do nothing.  Waiting can be a beautiful experience if you think of it as a welcomed time to slow down, put away your stuff and just be present. 

I have a busy life and I know I’m impatient.  But waiting doesn’t need to be a chore.  It can be a welcomed change of pace.

Well, my wait here is over. Just under three hours and I almost (remember where I am) enjoyed myself. At the very least, I was productive and I did something good for my health. I am happy to say I got a normal result.

Do you have any suggestions that can help make waiting more tolerable, or productive?

Bonus tip: Feed your brain with useless knowledge. You will impress your friends and prove handy for trivia game night.


*Learning a new language is good for the brain.

By Kathy

I am a Nurse Practitioner from Rochester, NY presently working in both the inpatient and outpatient hospital psychiatric settings.

2 replies on “7 Ways To Make Wait Times Fly By”

Comments are closed.