30 Productive Things to Do When You Have 15 Minutes to Kill and a Smartphone

Posted by Chelsea Hejny on 02 Feb 2015 / 0 Comment

The other day I showed up early for a coffee date I’d made with a friend. I had about 15 minutes to kill before she was supposed to show. So, I did what most social-media-obsessed people my age do: I pulled out my iPhone and started scrolling through my personal Instagram account’s feed.

After about thirty seconds of scrolling I had this thought: “There’s got to be something more productive I could be doing with these 15 minutes.” I then opened up my Fetchnotes app and started typing notes for this post.

Whether you’re early for a scheduled coffee or lunch date, waiting to board your flight, on your bus commute home, or just patiently waiting for your significant other to finish getting ready, here is a list of productive tasks you can accomplish on your smartphone.

1. Open up your Instapaper or Pocket app and actually read a few of those articles you’ve saved to read later.

2. If you don’t have any articles saved, hop on one of your newsreader apps and read an article or a current news story. Right now, Medium is my favorite ito discover new and interesting content.

3. Download the Dictionary app (if you haven’t already) and learn what the “Word of the Day” is.

4. Open up your Amazon app and edit your Wish List. If you’re anything like me, you probably have some  items on it that you no longer want.

5. Get in touch with a friend or family member via text. An “I miss you” or “Hey, thinking about you. Hope you’re doing well” text goes a long way.

6. Listen to any new voicemails you have and return phone calls.

7. Check the status of your stocks. (TWTR, make me proud!) 

8. Check your most recent transactions on whatever mobile banking app  you have. (It always gives me peace of mind to know that I don’t have any fraudulent charges on my account.)

9. Using Postagram, make someone’s day by sending a postcard made with a photo you’ve taken with your phone.

10. Look at the trending hashtags on Twitter and tweet out something relevant.

11. Give some folks on Twitter some love by retweeting updates you like, responding to other people’s tweets, and/or tweeting a compliment at someone you like, admire, or simply want to connect with.

12. Check on your LinkedIn profile. Respond to any connection requests and/or post in a group you’re in.

13. Log out of your personal Instagram account and log into your business’s. From your business’s account, like and comment on photos. Remember to follow these Instagram tips and best practices.

14. Clean up your inbox by deleting as many spam and read emails as you can.

15. Unsubscribe from any email lists you’re no longer interested in.

16. Start a draft of an email you’ve been putting off sending. If you like your draft, send it!

17. Watch a TED talk on the TED mobile app. Most talks are under 20 minutes.

18. Play a brain training game. Here’s a good list of iPhone apps that aim to test your brain power.

19. Take some pretty photos (coffee shop shots rock!) that you can Instagram, use on social media or in a blog post later.

20. Listen to a podcast. Here’s a list of our 14 podcasts that will make you a better social media marketer. 

21. Listen to your audiobook using your Audible app.

22. Organize the apps on your smartphone. You can also delete the ones you don’t use anymore (or even better, delete the ones you waste time on).

23. Open up your phone’s camera roll and delete all those photos (cough, cough, selfies!) that are wasting space.

24. In your notes app or in an email draft, free write about any ideas you have. If you don’t have any ideas, write down as many things you can think of that you’re thankful for.

25. Make a to-do list for the rest of the day or week.

26. Chug some water. We could all use a little extra H2O in our days.

27. Do some lunges, or if you don’t want to look like too much of a weirdo, do a few calf ups.

28. Hold and tighten your core for 60-seconds. Do this every other minute.

29. Meditate. Check out Calm, a free app that lets you schedule meditation and visualization exercises.

30. Pull out your iPhone and write notes in your Fetchnotes app for a future blog post you want to write. (Me = done!)

I hope this list was helpful, guys. I know you probably have your own productive tasks you complete in your downtime. I’d love if you’d share them with me in the comment section below.