So there you are in line at the grocery store or the hardware store or the bank. It could be anyplace really. You could be on hold waiting for a customer service representative or waiting for a meeting to begin. You have time on your hands, what do you do with that time?

What time, you ask? You really do not plan on being in line or on hold or waiting for more than five minutes. It's not a large block of time. What difference can it make? The difference it makes depends on how you spend that time. Do you:

  • Spend it being annoyed that you have to wait?
  • Spend it becoming perturbed because someone in front of you is taking too long?
  • Spend it being critical about the children in front of you who are (according to you) misbehaving?
  • Spend it reviewing the front covers of gossip magazines?

If you are doing any of the above or something similar, you are wasting time. I am not suggesting you multitask. I am not going to propose that you use this time to make phone calls or balance your checkbook or write notes. I am going to propose that you do something more constructive with your time than engage in negative thinking.

The time you spend being angry because you are waiting is time you could have spent on something more positive. It is not just the five minutes you spend waiting, it is the residual anger you carry with you from that episode. It may also be the impact you have on others if you express your annoyance. You waste your time and you waste the time of those around you. Instead of being angry or passing judgment on poorly behaved children or reading about some celebrity's divorce you could:

  • Pray or meditate if either of those are part of your tradition
  • Smile at those misbehaving children and see if you can distract them
  • Send thoughts of compassion to people who are going through a difficult time
  • Find something that you admire about someone around you and pay them a compliment
  • Concentrate on something you look forward to or that you recently enjoyed
  • Think about someone you love and plan a small surprise for them

If you replace any angry, judgmental or negative thought that you have while you are waiting with a positive thought or wish you are making good use of your time. Remember those five minutes you spend waiting are not coming back to you, so stop wasting time.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret developed a passionate belief that it takes courage and skill to be human at work and that all individuals have a responsibility to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion.

Motivated by her beliefs and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others, Margaret acted on her vision by founding Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. Her vision is to create a group of successful individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; a group of people who help and support others; a group who bring humanity to the office and thrive because of it. Margaret sees a world where achieving peace and achieving success go hand-in-hand.

Margaret’s students and clients often find that what she really brings them is freedom to bring their authentic selves to the office. As a former Information Technology Executive, Margaret always knew her preference was for the people behind the technology. Now Margaret brings those beliefs to individuals from many professional backgrounds. The common thread across her client base is the desire to experience peace at work and the recognition that peace is not absence of conflict, peace is the ability to cope with conflict. For these people, Margaret Meloni is truly ‘A Path to Peace’. ™