8 To Do Ideas For When We Are Waiting & Killing Time

I believe that many people are wasting their lives, especially while they are killing time, waiting for the next something to happen. For example, there are a million small moments, which altogether add up to a substantial amount of time, when we are just there, killing time, and not doing anything in particular. Be that waiting in the elevator, metro, bus, train, flight, in grocery store checkout line, while walking, and so on and so forth. And there are many moments like that in our lives.

Personally, I long ago decided that I will no longer want to be killing time and I made a list of things that I could do while I’m waiting. Altogether, I became so much more productive, at least doubling my productivity. Today, I want to share with you my list of ideas in the hope that you too can stop killing time, wasting your life, and becoming more productive in the process.

killing time

Read a book

I always carry around a book with me no matter where I go, just in case I’ll find myself in a waiting situation where I need to kill time. 

Here are a list of my favorite books so far:

For my full book list please see my other blog post.

Listen to audiobooks

I like Audible and I have over 150 books on this app. Audible helped me to go through this many books because I can’t always be reading paperback books. For example, while on the metro, train, or bus reading a book can be a good option to avoid killing time, but it is just not appropriate while I am walking. So an audiobook is a better choice in these situations. 

Again, feel free to check the same titles as in the book session for audiobook ideas, instead of wasting our time. 


Often, in social situations, we just have to be there, essentially killing our time, out of the obligation we have towards other people. In these situations, it is impossible to read a book or listen to an audiobook or do anything else for that matter, so meditation can be a time saver! 

Now, it can be hard to just start meditating if you have never done so before, or to do so in a noisy environment. Yet, with some practice, we can become good in doing just that and achieve great spiritual highs instead of just killing time. I wrote extensively about meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality (such as my latest filter post). I also teach how to meditate in my audio program. Plus, meditation is one of the best tools for achieving happiness. Mind as well give it a go!

Review to do

In a never stopping productive world, we need to review our goals on a regular basis. This is why one of my favorite activities to do when I’m killing time is to do just that on my phone. Personally, I’m using the Evernote app to review my goals. It is great as it synchronizes all my notes between computer and phone and keeps everything in one place for easier access and organization. 

Still, lately, this app’s developers became greedy and are trying to charge money every single step of the way, reducing the functionality of the app, meaning that the app isn’t as good as it used to be, but it still works fine for what I need it to do.


A healthy body is a happy body. This being said, there are a million small ways we can exercise every day in our lives, such as standing instead of sitting on public transportation. I also recently got into yoga, which is why, occasionally, I like to do some simple stretches, which I can do in most situations. This is not to mention my proper exercise routine (gym), which I do several times per week.

Killing time in healthy way

The goal of this blog is to find healthy ways to kill time. This is to say that there are millions of unhealthy ways we can do so, which take away instead of adding to it. For example, we can waste time by: 

  • watching social media,
  • listening to music,
  • casually observing other people,
  • daydreaming,
  • watching TV,
  • engaging in negative thinking, or
  • playing the same game millions of times (except, I guess, chess).

Still, the goal is to look at one’s own life and to understand what parts of it are adding to your existence and which are taking away from it. In the case of killing time, most people don’t have good routines, meaning that they engage in unhealthy ways of killing time. Instead, as this blog post suggests, we should cultivate healthy routines in these regularly forgotten and unappreciated moments to kill time.

Back up ideas for killing time

In my experience, we need to have several back up ideas for killing time. After all, often, we find ourselves in a situation where one or more of our ideas does not apply to this situation, such as already mentioned reading books while walking. Also, we are not always motivated to listen to personal development audiobooks, so maybe an autobiography audiobook is more appropriate. At this moment, if we only have personal development audiobooks on our phones, then we are likely to kill time in an unhealthy way. It is in this way that it is better to be prepared with several different options than sorry. 

Healthy Snack 

Similarly to killing time, I often find myself in situations where I want to eat something. At this moment, if I don’t have a healthy option available, I am likely to settle for something unhealthy, which is why again it is better to be prepared than sorry. As such, I always have a few healthy snacks in my backpack, together with a bottle of water, in order to avoid unhealthy and expensive alternatives (such as beer or coca-cola). 

Killing Time Quiz

For the last quiz, try to: 

  1. Note how often you are killing your time; also,

    Your answer: ____________________________________________
  2. Make a note of what you are likely to do when you are killing time, bored, or tired;

    Your answer: ____________________________________________
  3. Are your routines healthy or unhealthy?

    Your answer: ____________________________________________
  4. Can you adopt one of the above killing time ideas into your life?

    Your answer: ____________________________________________
  5. Maybe you have a different idea of how to kill time in a healthy manner?

    Your answer: ____________________________________________

Feel free to note all your answers below in the comments! We reply to all messages.

Roman Russo

Roman Russo

Roman Russo is the visionary founder, senior happiness coach, and Chief Happiness Officer of Optimal Happiness. He has written the revolutionary Optimal Happiness: The Fastest and Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential, a must-read book about achieving our happiest potential. After researching this field for over eight years, Roman is confident that anyone can become happy and invites us to undertake this transformation. Are you ready to start living the life you always meant to live?

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