Todd Glassberg-Waiting From the Front Porch

Hurry up and wait. Waiting in line is an inescapable fact of  life, from the checkout at the Grocery Store, the Post Office, the Airport and the Bank. Additionally, we find ourselves waiting for the inanimate aspects of our life as well; waiting for Love, waiting for Success, waiting for our Dreams. In reality waiting is the big source of boredom, impatience, and irritation. If stress had an ingredient label it would list waiting as the number one in the list.

Do you ever notice how you immediately give off a negative reaction while waiting in line . Today’s big business understands , they are paying attention .  Have you identified some of your local businesses that you like more than others. Is it because they have implemented several factors that make waiting more tolerable. As  consumers, we can’t control how a  business addresses these factors, but we can choose to patronize businesses that make waiting less stressful. In general, life is less stressed when standing in lines with the following characteristics:

  • Short. Enough said.
  • Fair. You’re likely to feel less frustrated if a line obviously operates on the first-come, first-served principle. That’s why many stores have adopted a single line feeder or the cattle call to multiple cashiers rather than multiple lines. This is done so you don’t end up feeling as if you picked the wrong one.
  • Respectful. You’re apt to feel less aggravated when waiting for help from an employee who is working hard rather than one who seems to be ignoring you or chatting with friends. I usually respond with a snotty ” no keep talking , I ‘ll wait till your done. I don’t want to feel as if my time isn’t valued.
  • Entertaining. Waiting time passes faster when you have a diversion to keep your mind busy. 7-11 knows this; they  entertain customers waiting for coffee with 7-11 TV.

Wait for It, Wait for It… You can also manage your own behavior to reduce the stress of waiting in line. Here are some quick tips for :

  • Allow plenty of time. Reduce pressure by budgeting your time for the longest possible scenario’s you may  encounter . If the line is long, you’ll  be okay—and if it’s shorter, you’ll be running ahead of schedule.
  • Take some deep breaths. relax, accept the process.
  • Practice mindfulness. Focus your awareness on what you’re experiencing from moment to moment, good and bad, without judging it. Anchoring your mind in the present helps keep you from stressing over something that happened earlier or worrying about whatever comes next.
  • Move around a little. For prolonged standing,  shift your weight and change your stance every three to five minutes. You can also do some discrete stretching. For example, to stretch your toes, spread them as wide as you can, hold for a few seconds, and then relax. Keep the blood flowing and the endorphins won’t back up.

Last but not least waiting has a positive side. it is a built in time out to let your Body Mind and Soul wander. Use the immobile time to drive your thoughts.

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