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Activities to Do While You Wait on Hold

Abby Slutsky is usually the one who takes care of dealing with problems in her house that require telephone communications.

When you're stuck on hold, press the speaker phone button so you have your hands free for the wait.

When you're stuck on hold, press the speaker phone button so you have your hands free for the wait.

Waiting and Waiting

It happens to all of us. You make a call (hopefully, on a portable phone or cell) to get help. Whatever your problem, you may spend more time listening to soothing music and an apology ("We're sorry for the wait. Lines are busier than usual . . . ") than you will talking to a person when they finally answer. A few companies will give you the option to leave a phone number without losing your place in line, but many do not. What do you do with your time when companies will be with you soon, but their definition of soon is 45 minutes to an hour later?

Prepare to Use Your Wait Time Efficiently

Put the call on speaker. There is no reason why you should not have your hands free while you take advantage of the time to do something else. Alternatively, you can wear wireless headphones while you are waiting for your call.

Decide How You Want to Use Your Time

There are many activities that you can do while you wait on the phone. The trick is to decide what you wish to do, and then put your phone and any paperwork you will need for the phone call nearby. Here is a brief list of possibilities:

  • General Household Chores
  • Leisure Activities
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Educational Activities

General Household Activities

Whether you plan to clean or do other household chores, these activities are perfect for a phone conversation that requires paperwork. It is easy to keep your materials at hand, and you will probably be engaged in an activity that is simple to stop when your call is finally answered.

  1. Unload the dishwasher and refill it. It seems like most of my family does not know where the dishwasher is located. Amazingly, they can find the sink, but the dishes usually do not make their way into the dishwasher unless I load it.
  2. Do the laundry. If you are using speaker phone, you will have your hands free to throw in a load of laundry or fold clothes that are fresh from the dryer.
  3. Straighten a closet or cabinet. Cleaning a small part of a room can be satisfying without being overwhelming. Since you are on hold anyway, you will not feel like you ruined part of your day with a cleaning project.
  4. Do bills. If you write bills at a desk, you will be conveniently located when someone answers your call. If you need to write down the person's name or information needed to get a solution, the desk will be handy.
Headphones and a book can help make wait times more pleasant.

Headphones and a book can help make wait times more pleasant.

Leisure Activities

Enjoying a leisure activity can be a wonderful way to stay calm while you are wasting your time waiting for someone to help you. Fortunately, if you are near a computer, television, or book, your activities are accessible.

  1. Read a book. Choose a hard copy of a book you have in the house, or browse the Internet for a free book to download. In minutes, you can be absorbed in whatever subject or story you choose.
  2. Watch a movie or television show. You might already be engaged in a series, and this can be the perfect time to relax and catch up on a new episode. Alternatively, browse the television guide or stream a new program.
  3. Go shopping. Even if you do not need anything, it can be fun to browse the latest fashions or check out the sales. If there is something you need, research your choices and make a selection.
  4. Catch up on social media. Reach out to friends, send out birthday wishes, or look at your dating website if you belong to one.
  5. Play a game. There are many downloadable one-person games. Whether you like word games, card games, or board games, there is something that can keep you entertained while you wait.

Outdoor Activities

You can utilize your time outside, but outdoor activities are probably best for conversations that do not require you to refer to paperwork. Necessary papers can blow away or get dirty if they are outside.

  1. Spruce up your garden. Although I am not a gardener, many people love being outside and get satisfaction from growing flowers or vegetables. If you enjoy it, why not take advantage of the time and bring your phone outside? Your garden could be weed free by the time someone answers your call.
  2. Take a walk. A little exercise and fresh air is terrific for your body. It is not difficult to talk and walk, so if you get off hold, you will be ready to hold a conversation with ease.
  3. Sit on your deck or porch. If the weather is pleasant, enjoy the outdoors while you relax.

Educational Activities

Often people put off learning something new because of time constraints. Waiting on hold can be the perfect time to take advantage of a free online class. You can always pause the video if you get off hold.

  1. Try an online class. Coursera and Udemy offer free online classes. Browse the selection to see if anything appeals to you.
  2. Discover a new language. Download a free foreign language app and practice while you wait.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Abby Slutsky


Abby Slutsky (author) from America on July 14, 2020:

Thanks for reading.

Alyssa from Ohio on July 14, 2020:

This is genius! I agree with you, why not get something done while you wait? I will typically switch the laundry over, put dishes away, or browse social media while I wait. I had to chuckle at your family not knowing where the dishwasher is. haha! I feel like that about cups and game console accessories. Great tips!