Dealing with down time


Let’s face it — nobody likes standing in line, sitting through a boring lecture, or being stuck in traffic. But for someone with attention deficit disorder (I’m pretty sure I have it),  these common situations can test patience to the breaking point.


I swear.  When I go to the supermarket, you can bet the line I’m in will break down either because the cash-register malfunctions or someone has an item with no price.  It drives me up the wall, but I have a few suggestions for all you impatient folks out there.

My favorite thing to do is read the magazines parked by the cash register.  They have become ridiculously expensive so I leaf through my favorites.  I have actually read one half an article, then finished it the next time I had to dash to the store

Keep Your Mind Busy

When you find yourself stuck in a line, instead of focusing on your frustration (which will just make you more annoyed), try playing some mind games with yourself. Count how many people are wearing yellow and how many blue, make up mental stories about the lives of those around you, or just do some people watching. You’ll keep your mind entertained and off the subject of how much you wish you could just push your way to the front of the line.

Fiddle With It

In my town, the city fathers cannot seem to get our traffic lights calibrated.  This a.m. driving to the gym, the light stayed red for all four sides for a good two minutes – seemed more like two hours.

Carry a smooth stone in your pocket that you can fiddle with when boredom strikes. The repeated movement of flipping the stone over and over in your fingers, for example, can help keep you focused  but isn’t so distracting or obvious that it draws attention. A coin, a piece of jewelry, silly putty, or some other small item that’s easily carried can serve the same purpose.

Take Note

While you may wish you never had to wait, the reality is that you can pretty much plan on it being part of your daily life.  Carry a pocket notebook and pen with you to jot down a list, brainstorm an idea, or even doodle or sketch so you can avoid feeling that downtime is lost time

2 thoughts on “Dealing with down time

  1. A book in the car is also a good idea. My favorite is reading the hideous tabloids in the grocery line. I would never buy one, but find a weird pleasure in reading them. Am I okay???

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