Those In-Between Times

You arrive to class ten minutes early, or you finish your current project ahead of schedule and now you’re awkwardly waiting for something else. It’s too short a space to work on something substantial without interruption, and too long to waste. Those In-Between Times crop up, and it helps to have some activities in your back pocket to make the most of every minute.

My biggest In-Between time happens in the space when I’m finished packing for the day, but if I drove to class now I’d be extremely early. For a while I would fill the time with checking social media, playing games on my phone, that sort of thing. But soon I realized that I could do more with my ten or fifteen free minutes.

It helps that I carry a small notebook with me most of the time. Pen and ink help me because I can draw arrows, bubble maps, and doodle in the margins. Sometimes, when my notebook isn’t handy, I use my phone notes. Those are good in a pinch, but I lose a bit of the tactile sensation that comes with real pages.

Here are a few of the things I do to fill up my In-Between Times. Have something you do when you don’t have much time? Share in the comments!

  • Blog networking – A few minutes to read some new posts and compose some comments can help expand your blogging network.
  • Story brainstorm
  • Mindful observations – Sometimes we forget to look at what surrounds us in our daily lives. You never know where the seed of inspiration may be lurking.
  • Flash writing prompt
  • Collecting new writing prompts
  • Doodles
  • Image scavenging – I mainly do this at home, with our ever-present stack of magazines to be shredded. Gathering images can help with art journalling, decorated snail mail, and writing inspiration!
  • Organizing Pinterest Image Boards – This is on the border between social media and productive work, but since I use Pinterest for collecting writing images, I count it anyway.
  • Writing Blog Posts – The WordPress mobile app really helps with this one.
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