Use dead time wisely

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 14, 2019

Do you often feel like you’re not using your time well enough? Like, if you only had a couple of more hours in the day, you’d actually be able to reach your true potential?

If you resonate with these questions, then perhaps you need to look into how you use your dead time.

What is dead time?

You can experience dead time in your daily schedule for various reasons. It is considered to be the time between two activities, a time that is often spent in an unproductive manner. It can be the time you are waiting for your friend to pick you up, the time spent in the waiting room of a hospital, or most commonly your daily commute.

Dead time at the workplace is a major issue as well, which usually arises due to any power outage, dependence on another department to get the go-ahead, or equipment failure. Frequent unproductive gaps at work can also lead to employee demoralization and lack of satisfaction, as their capabilities are not being put to the right use.

To clarify, don’t confuse this with an actual break from your work or routine, as it is extremely essential for your rejuvenation. We do however advocate to use those brief moments of inactivity effectively, as this small change of action can greatly impact what you achieved throughout your day.

Benefits of utilizing dead time

These are small windows of opportunities that have the potential of being utilized in a highly productive manner. Unfortunately, most of us just waste this opportunity, because if these small moments are combined, they add up to become a major part of our day.

Harnessing the true potential of dead time enables you to discipline your life, and have better control over it. Instead of pumping up some tunes or checking out social media for the 10th time in your day, you can use that time to complete tasks that have been on your to-do list for ages.

Let’s now take a look at 5 things that you can do in your dead time.


We can’t emphasize this enough that important it is to read. Read articles, journals, books, or anything as it helps you in expanding your mindset and knowledge base. Reading exposes you to new perspectives that can significantly impact how you live your life.

We don’t have to tell this twice to avid readers. However, if you are like me, then you probably start off a book with zeal, but that energy starts fading away after the first few chapters. It is in your dead time that you should resume your reading, as in short 10 min gaps are enough to end a chapter that gives you a sense of accomplishment, pushing you to read more.

If you don’t want to carry a hardcopy everywhere you go, then just download an e-book. It’s that simple.

Help-out others

If you experience dead time at work, then that is the golden opportunity for you to offer help to your co-workers. People are often stuck at problems at work that can be only be dealt with through a fresh pair of eyes and a different perspective.

This is also the opportunity to expand your network and build solid relationships with your co-workers, which can turn out to be mutually beneficial later on.

Learn a language

Making use of dead time to learn a new language is an excellent option as well.

Always keep a language application handy on your phone, and achieve try achieving your daily vocabulary goals during these small-time gaps. Not only will this be a fun way to utilize your time, but it will also stimulate your brain so that you return to your primary task energized.

Listen to podcasts

Podcasts are a great way of killing your time productively while multitasking at the same time. In comparison to books, which are based on the active involvement of mind and eyes, you can passively listen to a podcast while driving.

Pick up a podcast on a topic that has always intrigued you, or just scan through millions of podcast options that are now listened to in around 60 million homes in the United States. These growing figures are a testament to the benefits and popularity of listening to podcasts.

Connect with people

Our final recommendation of using your dead time would be to connect with your loved ones. Leave them a message, call or reply to an email to which you never responded.

Also, make sure to prioritize your parents when deciding who to call, as they are always delighted to hear from you, even for a short moment.

This was just a small list, and it can be expanded based on what you would love to do in your dead time as the only important thing is to put these moments to good use.

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