The NY Times has an writeup today on the psychology of waiting – mostly, waiting in line.
Here’s the wrap-up at the end:
The dominant cost of waiting is an emotional one: stress, boredom, that nagging sensation that one’s life is slipping away. The last thing we want to do with our dwindling leisure time is squander it in stasis. We’ll never eliminate lines altogether, but a better understanding of the psychology of waiting can help make those inevitable delays that inject themselves into our daily lives a touch more bearable. And when all else fails, bring a book.
Understand why it’s unpleasant? Bring a book? Meh.
Here’s my counter-offer: waiting is optional; don’t do it.
I’m not talking about finding clever ways to jump the queue or get VIP treatment. This is simpler (and more practicable).
You can do whatever you like in a waiting room, in a supermarket queue, in your car while stuck behind a truck on a winding back road, etc. etc. — anything, as long as you can do it in your head.
If this sounds like a joke, or that it wraps a cruel assumption that you’re some kind of mental Olympian, bear with me for just a moment while I connect some dots.