We have all been there-- you are stuck waiting on an email with nothing to do. Your professor is running late for class. You have been grinding so hard on something you can barely think straight and need to take a breather. You've got 20 minutes to spare-- or you need 20 minutes away from whatever you are grinding on. Here are some ideas of what you can do with that time.
Send two thank you emails. I am a big believer in practicing gratitude. It is so good for your brain, for your outlook on life, and it helps you build strong relationships with other people and with yourself. Seriously. Send two thank you emails-- maybe one to a friend, and another to a coworker. It doesn't have to be purely a thank you if you feel weird about that-- maybe check in on your parent(s), or write to an old colleague and catch up a bit. It doesn't have to be long-- it just has to be sincere.
Write a letter to a friend. Maintaining strong friendships is a really key part of adulting, in my opinion. Part of this for me is about sending snail mail. There is something extra special and fun about sending and receiving an actual physical card or letter. I have one cube of my shelf at home dedicated to snail mail supplies and sending something that makes someone feel special just makes you feel awesome!
Unsubscribe to some email newsletters. Why just delete emails when you can actually get fewer of them? If you find yourself swamped with newsletters, promotional emails, and more all the time, cull through them and decide which ones you actually want in your life. Then start unsubscribing and feel the digital weight lifted off your brain. Still want those coupon codes? I have a separate email set up just for those constant promotional emails in case I want to buy something with a discount code-- other than that, I rarely check that inbox except to clean it out. As a result, the sales don't tempt me-- I never even know about them!
Check LinkedIn for interesting industry news. Facebook and Twitter are both goldmines of information and landmines of useless distractions. LinkedIn, however, is dedicated to professional social networking, and you're more likely to encounter some interesting and useful news from your industry, or thought leaders you love. If your feed is lacking, see if there's anyone you've been meaning to connect with, or follow some companies and influencers who post things you find inspiring and educational.
What do you do when you have a spare 20 minutes?