These unused moments are hiding in the gaps between our scheduled events. For example, if you have a conference call that ends at 11:30 and a lunch meeting that starts at noon. Or a 20-30 minute break between two classes. Our natural inclination is to look at that gap of time and think to ourselves, “That is too short to get anything major accomplished.”
Instead, we fritter away the time trying to tie up a few loose ends here and there. We may check our email, browse the internet, or make a phone call. We may be busy, but we are really just filling the time before our next big obligation begins and not being terribly productive.
How to Make Use of The Gap
1. Start a Big Task
The longer we put off big Meat tasks in our Time Diet, the more we build these tasks up in our head to take a long time. Pretty soon, we find ourselves saying, “I can’t possibly start that now. I’m going to need the whole afternoon!” Don’t think that you have to complete the whole task in one sitting. The next time you have a small chunk of available time, start a piece of a big Meat task! Even if you only have 20 minutes to devote to the cause, getting a jump start makes the task easier to come back to later.
2. Consult Your List
Keeping a written list of your goals for the day makes filling the gaps in your schedule much easier. If you find yourself with some unexpected down time, immediately consult the list. Transition times from one task to the next are when Time Killers are most likely to steal our attention. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to become distracted and get lost scrolling through Facebook or your inbox for 30 minutes without realizing it. Move swiftly to the next task on your list before your Time Killers have the opportunity to distract you.
3. Take a Break
Filling the gaps in your day doesn’t mean you have to work for every spare minute. If you find yourself with an extra 15-30 minutes between tasks, rather than trying to fill that time with busy work, take a purposeful break! Step outside and get some fresh air. Call a friend or family member to brighten your day. Our lives are so hectic and busy, that it’s easy to say we don’t have time for these Desserts in our Time Diet. Making use of the gaps in your day can help you find time you didn’t realize you had.