Your client is running 30 minutes late, you've arrived 30 minutes early to an appointment or your plane has been delayed for 30 minutes. You can either sit and fume or you can make the most of this extra time. We suggest you do the latter, so why not. . .
Keep a folder in your briefcase filled with articles you've torn out of magazines. You'll be amazed at how many articles you can read in half an hour.
Transfer your business cards to your handheld or laptop. If you keep them in your briefcase, you can enter the names during downtime and then toss the cards.
Update your goals. If you don't have an active list, make a list with five headings: lifetime goals, three-month goals, six-month goals, nine-month goals and one year goals. After you create it, refer to the list often.
Review your to-do list for the week and make sure your tasks match your goals. If the two are incongruent, either change your tasks or change your goals.
Return some phone calls. Keep the calls short so you can make as many calls as possible in 30 minutes.
Check your e-mail on your handheld or laptop. You should be able to delete, answer and write several e-mails in a short amount of time.
Brother home office expert Lisa Kanarek advises corporations and individuals on all aspects of working from home and writes the blog Working Naked. She is the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life.