Things to do instead of checking your phone when you have a couple of minutes to kill

Like your date’s gone to the bathroom, or your lunch is in the microwave. You probably don’t want to be so compulsive about your phone, but else are you gonna do while you wait?

Things to do instead of checking your phone when you have 5 minutes to kill:

  1. This is my favourite thing. The Poetry Foundation app has two settings, one for topic (family, death, etc) and one for mood (melancholy, nostalgic, etc). You choose and then spin and it gives you a random (curated) poem. This is so perfect for having a minute to spare. And suddenly you’re a person who’s read heaps of poems. I often don’t get them, but I only read them in my downtime, and the ones that I’ve loved easily make it worthwhile. Android // ios
  2. Write a To Do List. Either minor errands or bigger things you want to get to if you can find a free evening. Both kinds of list can be soothing.
  3. Send that one email reply you’ve been avoiding.
  4. Do a 30-second stretch, 20 calf raises, or some countertop push-ups
  5. Pay attention to your breath for 60 seconds, or do a mental bodyscan (i.e. meditate)
  6. Come up with three things you’re grateful about right now.
  7. Do a little sketch or scribble (I bet there’s an app for that, but a notebook’s probably better)
  8. Write a haiku about your surroundings, your date, or your lunch.
  9. Make a bullet-point plan for a story, blog post or letter you’ll write later.
  10. List habits you’d like to try and develop. List habits you’d like leave behind at some point. List habits you’d like to try for 30 days to see what effect they have.
  11. List 10 ideas. (‘How to become an idea machine‘)

These are pretty much off the top of my head, I’m sure you can think of others. What could you do with 5 minutes that would be better for you than social media? (List 10 things the first time you wait, do one of them next time.)

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