Avoiding the Waiting Place

I have three hours until I am supposed to be somewhere. This is quite a long span of time, particularly when so many of the tasks on my list will take thirty minutes or less. Yet somehow I find myself moving into Wait Mode. Or as Dr. Seuss called it “The Waiting Place.” I’m reluctant to get started because I can see that I’ll have to stop soon. And that “stop” looms so large that it focuses my attention away from the fact that by the time I reach it, I would have already stopped the activity I’m trying to get myself to start.

Sometimes I can make a game of it. “Let’s see how much I can get done before I have to stop.” Setting a timer helps because then the task of watching for the stop belongs to the timer and my brain can let it go to focus on other things. Often I turn The Waiting Place into a time where I do all those micro tasks which have been piling up undone. It is a great time to transport laundry, or collapse empty boxes, or file a few papers. Little 1-5 minute tasks that clearly will be done before the stop. If I line up enough of those I can fill the entire time until I need to leave.

Other times the Waiting Place is also the Anxiety Place and the best option is to not try to be productive at all, but to instead distract myself with movie or game, or both. Lean in to the wait instead of trying to make use of it. Today I’m doing a mix of all of the above, plus I’m blogging about it as well.

This musing brought to you by my 1pm medical appointment and the writing group submission I should get done before I go.