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Ten Good Habits To Develop While You Wait In Line

Ten Good Habits To Develop While You Wait In Line

When I posted in my Forbes column about ten actions to take while you wait in-between job interviews, I clearly touched a nerve, because the post racked up almost 10,000 views in its first day. Today’s professional treats busyness like a badge of honor, so it makes sense that tips on maximizing down time would resonate. This got me thinking about how to maximize even smaller bits of time, like simply waiting in line. What can you do to maximize these short bursts of availability? Here are ten good habits to develop while you wait in line.


Find yourself without your book? Download the Kindle app to your phone and always keep at least one title on hand (you can borrow e-books from the library for free).

Bless your energy centers.

I first heard this tip during a meditation conference led by Joe Dispenza. You have seven energy centers running from your pelvic area to the top of your head. Actively focus on and send positive energy to each one.

Practice belly breathing.

We've all been taught the calming, restorative benefits of deep breathing, yet we forget to actually do it. Let a waiting time be the reminder to sneak in a few minutes.

[Related: Workplace Wellness: Increase Energy and Focus with Simple Yoga and Meditation]

Send a catch-up email.

Resist the urge to dive into your everyday email, and reserve your waiting time for an email to someone you don’t normally interact with. You know the benefits of a wide network. Let your waiting time be a networking cue.

Send a thank you.

Like networking, gratitude is another good habit worth cultivating. While you wait, find something to be thankful for. If it’s something someone did for you, send that person a thank you. Or else, send your thanks to the universe for a piece of good fortune.

[Related: 8 Ways to Change Culture Within Your Sphere of Influence]

Say a positive affirmation.

In addition to gratitude, positive affirmations boost your mood. If you’re not into affirmations, use a motivational quote.

Visualize reaching a goal.

Pictures speak louder than words, or so goes the cliché. If that resonates with you, use your waiting time to visualize in full color and detail a successful outcome to one of your goals.

Practice your balance.

Spend your waiting balancing on one foot. Count to ten and switch to ensure you cover both sides!

[Related: The Easiest Way to Add Hours to Your Day]


Even if you don’t have a lot space, you can open wide and stretch your jaw, move your head from side to side and extend your neck, and relax your shoulders or flex your wrists.

Say hello to someone waiting with you.

Even small social interactions yield big benefits to your longevity, as this fascinating TED talk by psychologist Susan Pinker shows. If your current tendency is to look away while waiting for your floor on the elevator or standing in line at the grocery, you might act differently when you realize that social integration is the number-one booster to living longer.

Any of these ten behaviors can be practiced in seconds, thereby maximizing even short bits of waiting time to develop good habits. The benefits of these brief interludes will linger long after you’re off and running again.


Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career change expert and author of Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career. Her latest career change is running

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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