Who enjoys being put on hold when you call a business? Did anyone raise their hand? I didn’t think so.

The fact is that many people thoroughly dislike being placed on hold when they are on the phone. I don’t blame them. It can feel like a waste of time when there are more important things to do. That’s especially true if your wait time in more than just a couple of minutes.

According to Time.com the average American will spend 43 days in their lifetime on the phone. Thankfully, there are ways of using time wisely while you are on hold on the phone.

Preplan What You Will Say

If only you could always send emails and stop wasting time on hold on the phone. Unfortunately, sometimes a phone call is necessary because emails would be too long and drawn out.

One way of using time wisely while you are on hold is to preplan what you will say. Plan the conversation ahead of time and practice. You can do this silently or whispering quietly to yourself.

Have any needed documents ready and in order so you are easily able to answer questions or address issues. That way once the other party comes on the line you are prepared and ready to talk.

Update Your Task List

You can also update your task list for the day to use time wisely while you are on hold. Mapping out your day can help you get right to work as soon as you are finished with your conversation.

To further optimize your time while on hold on the phone, prioritize your list. Once you get off the phone you’ll know exactly what to do first, second and so forth.

By planning your tasks and projects you will work faster and more productively. Furthermore, you reduce the possibility of forgetting to do important things you can’t afford to miss doing.

Review Your Calendar

Another way of using time wisely while you are on hold on the phone is to review your calendar. Looking at your schedule for the rest of the day or the next helps you prepare. Once you know what’s coming up you can add, subtract, or rearrange events previously planned.

Answer Emails

Don’t do nothing while you are waiting on hold on the phone. There are better ways to use your time. Try something more productive instead, such as reading and responding to simple emails.

Many times emails interrupt regular work. If you flip back and forth between emails and other things it wastes time and disrupts your thought stream.

But if you answer emails when you would otherwise be doing nothing you use your hold time wisely. Then when you finally get back to other projects you can complete them uninterrupted and much faster.

Organize Your Desk

Need another idea for something simple you can do while you are on hold on the phone? Try getting organized.

Paperwork can pile up quickly when you’re really busy. If you’ve set aside filing use on hold time to put it where it belongs. Or, if you haven’t gone through the mail yet, open it when you are on hold.

Throw away trash, put away supplies left out, and dust while you have a few minutes. After completing your phone call your desk will be neater and you’ll be ready to tackle bigger projects.

Waiting on hold can be frustrating. It may feel like a complete time waste even if the call is important. But with these tips you can use time wisely while you are on hold on the phone and improve productivity.