10 Ways to Be Productive While Waiting Around During Carpool

Image source: Thinkstock
Image source: Thinkstock

With three girls in two different schools plus various sports and activities, I spend a lot of time in the car. I end up waiting in the carpool line, sitting in my car during a short practice or waiting for whatever activity to finish up so I can get my kids and move on with real life.

Even when it’s just a few minutes at a time, it adds up to at least an hour each week. Sometimes, it can be almost an hour a day! Any time the girls have something to do right after school, I get in the carpool line early so I can be first.

Sure, I’m waiting a little while, but I get out of the parking lot sooner so we can be on time. I know we’re all way too busy to hang around in the car for hours, which is why I find things to do while I wait. It’s a good way to balance everything I have to do, and it allows me to be productive with otherwise wasted time.

Here are a few of my favorite things to do with a few minutes in the car:

1. Read

When I know I could be waiting awhile, I bring a book. It’s nice to have some down time just for me, even if I am at soccer or the girls’ school. Since I don’t always know if that will happen, I like to keep a few magazines between the seats. I can scan a few pages as the girls make their way to the car.

2. Clip coupons

I keep a pair of scissors right in my coupon binder so everything I need for couponing stays together. I can cut coupons when I have a few minutes, wherever I am.

3. Make a grocery list

Sitting down with a pen and paper (or my iPhone Errands app), I can put together a grocery list anywhere. Going in with a list the next time I shop helps make the grocery trip more productive, too.

4. Play your menu

All I need to plan the week’s meals is my calendar — it allows me to plan quick meals for busy evenings and avoid the drive-thru. This is my favorite Monday carpool activity so I can start the week with a plan.

5. Clean the car

I keep a duster and bags in the glovebox so I can do a quick cleanup of the car while I’m already there.

6. Prioritize your to-do list

Here’s another easy thing to jot down while I wait. A quick look at my to-do list can even help me figure out what I can fit in the next time I wait.

7. Take a nap

On the surface, this is not very productive, but I am completely convinced that a quick nap every day helps me focus and get more done when I’m awake. Lean the seat back and take a nap. I promise the kids will wake you when they’re ready to leave.

8. Sort the mail

I usually grab the mail on my way out of the driveway. I can do a quick sort while I’m in the car, and the junk mail pile often kickstarts that whole “clean car” idea.

9. Take care of you

I keep a nail file and pair of tweezers in the car. It’s one of those things I notice more when I’m sitting around doing nothing, and it only takes a few minutes to shape my nails or pluck a few stray hairs.

10. Clean out your purse

My purse is basically a black hole for receipts, coupons, and chapstick. Waiting in the car is practically the only time I remember to sort through it all.


Article Posted 3 years Ago
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
what do you think?
close comments
Subscribe to the
Welcome to
Sign Out
Follow us on