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Early for pickup? Friend running late? Let Barclays know how you make the most of an unexpected 5 minutes downtime out of the house, for your chance to win a £200 John Lewis voucher - NOW CLOSED

(280 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Jul-13 14:01:26

Barclays say "It's happened to all of us - you're out and about and you find yourself with some unexpected free time on your hands - you're a few minutes early for pickup, or one of the kids is bravely allowing a hairdresser to trim their locks."

"We're putting together the ultimate list of tips to maximise lost moments throughout the day, to celebrate two ingenious apps from Barclays: the Barclays Mobile Banking app, which lets you manage your finances when you are out and about; and Barclays Pingit, an app that lets you send and receive money using just a mobile number."

So they are asking, what do you do with that time? How do you make the most of the moments and once they have all added up, what would you spend an extra hour on a week?

Let us know your thoughts on this thread - everyone who adds a comment before the closing date of 15th July 2013 will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 John Lewis voucher. Please note your anonymous submitted tips may well be used on the Barclays pages on MN as well as possibly elsewhere.


Theimpossiblegirl Mon 01-Jul-13 15:48:05

I so rarely get to read for pleasure since having children that I've taken to carrying my Kindle about with me. When I get an unexpected 5 minutes you will find me enjoying a good book.

Numberlock Mon 01-Jul-13 15:52:56

Mumsnetting of course!

Smudging Mon 01-Jul-13 15:56:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lotkinsgonecurly Mon 01-Jul-13 16:04:38

I mumsnet or check my emails.

squeaver Mon 01-Jul-13 16:06:26

Interesting that Barclays don't seem to think that anyone on Mumsnet has a job.

mindingalongtime Mon 01-Jul-13 16:14:48

Read, read, read. I use to always have my head in a book, and read a book a day, now I'm lucky if I read one a week now. So I take y opportunity and carry my kindle with me wherever I go.

Just seen that theimpossiblegirl feels the same way!

fuckwittery Mon 01-Jul-13 16:21:11

Eat a treat if i have one with me
Reply to texts, make a phone call if out
Do my pelvic floor exercises!
Sit still and enjoy some peace for 5 mins!

starfishmummy Mon 01-Jul-13 16:21:42

I suppose it depends where I am, if I am sitting somewhere nice I will get my knitting out. Otherwise I would check on emails and mumsnet!

It depends wher I am. If I'm outdoors I might do a spot of weeding blush otherwise I fritter my time away on fb or texting a friend or I've usually got some sudoku on the go.

MirandaWest Mon 01-Jul-13 16:26:02

Probably mumsnet tbh. Or look at FB and wonder why my life has so much less excitement in it than the majority of people on my news feed grin

OrganixAddict Mon 01-Jul-13 16:27:25

Enjoy the silence! Or check my emails & try and get a bit of work done.

If I had a whole hour, I'd like to think i'd read a good book in a nice cafe but a trashy magazine is more likely tbh.

aftereight Mon 01-Jul-13 19:01:46

Catch up on texts and emails on my phone in any spare 5 mins.
Ignoring the fact that it would take 20 of these unusual occurences per week to make up one hour of spare time, I would spend my hour reading a magazine or having a lie in.

I'm another who turns on the kindle during any spare minute or two that might be available.

Schumann Mon 01-Jul-13 19:08:35

I take the opportunity to listen to radio 4 in peace - it's a very rare occurrence these days!

LaVitaBellissima Mon 01-Jul-13 19:16:22

A the moment reading Game of Thrones in hefty book form, I haven't succumbed to a Kindle yet

manfalou Mon 01-Jul-13 19:17:19

I check emails or listen to some adult music.. not Jake and the neverland pirates!

whattodoo Mon 01-Jul-13 19:18:33

Catch up on calls, emails or texts. Or update my online shop.

If I had an hour, I'd start to work through the huge pile of paperwork that sits constantly on my sideboard.

Generally checking mumsnet and facebook.

Bumpstarter Mon 01-Jul-13 19:20:03

Meal plan and Make a shopping list.

Send a few texts.

Feel the sunshine on my face and breathe air.

Bumpstarter Mon 01-Jul-13 19:21:53

If I had a whole hour I would hot foot It to the DIY shop to buy myself a sun lounger so I could do more of the feeling the strength of the sun thing.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Mon 01-Jul-13 19:26:18

Oh, if in the car I lean the seat back and enjoy a few minutes of Radio 4 without anyone whining that its not Thomas the flipping Tank Engine <sigh>

Its bliss grin

JedwardScissorhands Mon 01-Jul-13 19:28:30

I get the baby wipes out and clean the car interior, and clear my handbag and purse out. Really.

scripsi Mon 01-Jul-13 19:32:18

If with DCs who are going through a cuddly phase then they would unilaterally decide to climb on me. They are boys and I am saving up the cuddles before they get too cool.

If I had a whole hour a week I would spend it having a snooze!

SpottySlippers Mon 01-Jul-13 19:34:38

Review my diary - adding all the things I have buzzing around my head!

SisterMatic Mon 01-Jul-13 19:53:23

I like to read or listen to some music,music can really uplift me if I am flagging during the day.
if I had one childfree hour I would spend it sat with a book and a hot..not lukewarm..not cold..cup of tea. Perfect.

ThePskettiIncident Mon 01-Jul-13 20:05:00

Sit down!
Fix something - clothes, broken toy etc
Sneak a biscuit!

I read usually. Maybe if I've come from work (so been offline) I'll catch up on my emails, check FB or MN. I love my phone for making things like this so much easier.

If I had an entire hour, I'd find a coffee shop and do the same, just more leisurely and with something horribly frothy and syrupy to go with it.

ratbagcatbag Mon 01-Jul-13 20:07:35

I now have a 16 week old dd I never seem to get five mins, but the odd snatched minute I do get I try and mumsnet, Facebook, or even just read a few pages of a book.

If I had a whole hour bliss I'd have a long bath with bubbles and a book,or as a real splurge I'd go for a back and foot massage at beauty salon, leaving DH in charge.

Abra1d Mon 01-Jul-13 20:09:54

I bring some writing (am writer and editor) and work on it. Because I have a 'dumb' phone I can't do much electronically, so there are no distractions and no excuses for not doing lots of work. Somehow, being in the car can be very useful because you are without many distractions. The one thing I've promised myself I'll do is go to the various cashpoints my various cards belong to and change them to the same PIN so I don't have four to remember. Or is that a bit risky?

missorinoco Mon 01-Jul-13 20:11:24

A spare few minutes in the house - read! Out of the house - no kindle yet also, catch up with texts/calls. Admin if it is quick.

HomageToCannelloni Mon 01-Jul-13 20:11:24

If its just five minutes I read in the car, I keep a book in the glove compartment just in case. If its an hour I'd like to go and weed the raised beds or sit in the sun and daydream or MN or catch up with emails to my friends that I've been meaning to send...but honestly, there is always something that needs to be done, so that hour is RARE!!

Mumsnet! Text friends in lieu of actually seeing them. Find something yummy to eat or drink. With a free hour, lie down!

Read / post on mumsnet, Facebook, check eBay, send a quick email or text. If I had a spare hour, I'd read a good old chinned paperback, a rare pleasure these days

heartonsleeve Mon 01-Jul-13 20:38:24

I would either read, or if no book on me, would people watch. I love to people watch!

The luxury of an hour to myself would be either a hot bath (with a book) or a snooze or some 'ahem' with DH grin - assuming he had the same hour free time as me!!

ChippyMinton Mon 01-Jul-13 20:53:09

If I'm in the car I'll listen to the radio or a favourite CD.
Clear out receipts and junk from my handbag; or
Wipe down the car interior and fill a carrier bag with rubbish; or
Go through the car wash smile

In the house I'll put on a wash or empty the dishwasher or sweep the floor <dull>
Or catch up on admin - fill out forms, write cheques.

If I have a whole hour I'd probably watch something terrible and cheesy on TV, that I wouldn't be caught watching when DH or the DC are around!

Howstricks Mon 01-Jul-13 20:53:10

Google daft jokes and grin like a loon. An hour? Search through old cookery mags and dream up a dinner party,then invite friends and make it happen.

MonstersDontCry Mon 01-Jul-13 20:54:03

Check mumsnet or Facebook on my phone. Read if I had a book on me.

babyboo1and2 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:57:14

Read my kindle.

Make a to do list.

Text a friend or Dh

ChocChaffinch Mon 01-Jul-13 21:03:30

what do I do with odd 5 minutes..
faff with my mobile. Usually play a game or tidy up my texts
When my kids had a street dance class I used to wait in the car outside <it wasn't worth driving home> with a flask of posh coffee and a chocolate bar. Bliss!
If I had an extra hour I'd give myself a mani/pedicure. I never seem to have the time to do that, the varnish always smudges sad

Wiifitmama Mon 01-Jul-13 21:33:50

I walk. I wear a pedometer and always want to get some extra steps in. So if I find myself with 5 minutes, I walk round the block, pace back and forth, etc.

redandyellowbits Mon 01-Jul-13 21:57:29

I tidy up or add to my never-ending list of reminders I have on my phone

cleoowen Mon 01-Jul-13 22:07:49

Read a book or with a new,born have a little power,nap.

cleoowen Mon 01-Jul-13 22:08:11

Read a book or with a new,born have a little power,nap.

ExasperatedSigh Mon 01-Jul-13 22:11:03

micro nap
dirty fantasy
MN on phone
scribble in my notebook

scrappydappydoo Mon 01-Jul-13 22:12:04

Oh yes - all sorts grin
If I have my kindle I might read
If I have anticipated it I have a nice cup of tea in a flask.
If I'm near a radio - I might listen to radio 4 for 'adult' conversation.
I'll write lists (I have been known to write holiday packing lists 3 months in advance)
I update diaries and check whats happening in the next few days.
I relish going to the loo alone blush

But actually most of the time I just sit down, relax, close my eyes and pray - just taking the time to stop, gather my thoughts and appreciate a sort of eye of the storm type calm.

DuskPanda Mon 01-Jul-13 22:21:00

A few moments-feed my Candy Crush addiction. An hour-sleep!

CheeryCherry Mon 01-Jul-13 22:22:16

Read if I have my book with me.
File and buff my nails.
Have a hand bag clear out
Gather up all the rubbish in my car (if actually in my car)
Wipe the dashboard down with baby wipes.
Text friends I haven't been in touch with lately.
Start a shopping list/meal planner/to-do list.
Play solitaire on my phone blush

DoodleAlley Mon 01-Jul-13 22:24:08

Another kindle reader or mumsnet.

At the moment though I have a Velcro baby and talkative four year old so my idea of bliss is a warm cup of tea, comfy chair and absolute silence. Heaven!

A whole hour to myself? Goodness me... Probably calm shopping for myself or a bath and the radio.

DoodleAlley Mon 01-Jul-13 22:24:55

In essence my treats involve doing one thing rather than having to multitask all the time. Oh the luxury!

hotair Mon 01-Jul-13 22:32:08

Like everyone else I read my kindle I keep it in my handbag for these reading emergencies!- if I've got 5 mins at pic up it means my younger dc has decided to have her nap in the car. I also turn on my language CD and get practising!

I'm most likely to write a to do list. to organise the thoughts in my head. Would probably also check and respond to emails.

I usually Mumsnet or read something on my Kindle.

HappySunflower Mon 01-Jul-13 22:38:44

I reply to text messages, file/paint my nails, pack my dd's nursery bag for the next day, ditto my work bag.

With a whole hour.....I could get my hair cut, do the weekly shop, or meet a friend for a coffee!

MollyBerry Mon 01-Jul-13 22:40:43

Generally fire off a few emails to try and reduce the to do list

starkadder Mon 01-Jul-13 22:50:33

I would go to sleep. If I had a free hour.

doubleshotespresso Mon 01-Jul-13 22:51:50

Yes agree if I am lucky enough to grab a bit of extra unexpected time, then I would either read the Kindle, catch up on cleaning (yes I am that sad) or browse the internet.....

If I had a whole hour?

Probably google for stuff to add to shopping lists or get some guilt-free pampering in at home (this never seems to happen, even though it always features in my "to do" list).

dahville Mon 01-Jul-13 23:09:18

I use the time to check out my phone - e-mail, news feed, FB, & Twitter; if there is any time left then checking my to do list!

Dilidali Mon 01-Jul-13 23:13:15

Sit there feeling like everybody has got off the bus and I am still in it, not noticing they've all gone.
It's so rare to have a few moments with nothing to do! Must find switch off button.
An extra hour in the week? Can I sleep it?

BlissfullyIgnorant Mon 01-Jul-13 23:15:11

Every spare five minutes of mine is dedicated to working on a cross stitched cushion for my niece (she adores my hand made gifts); the design is a blue VW Camper Van - her fave thing! I set off early to pick up my daughter every day to make sure I have the extra few minutes smile

PavlovtheCat Mon 01-Jul-13 23:15:32

5 mins:
Nodding off
Relaxing, eyes closed just me nodding off
Meditating, just being, enjoying the quiet nodding off
Drinking coffee if I have time to grab one. to stop me nodding off
Mumsnetting catching up on important calls/paying any bills online

1 hour:
Sleeping, if not at home, doesn't matter. park benches are comfy enough when sleep is needed badly
Drinking coffee
Reading a newspaper. A REAL one, you know, the one with turny pages that crinkle.
Eat lunch, with both hands, without having to get up from the seat at all, and while also drinking my coffee and reading my crinkly real newspaper.
Swim/Sauna/long hot shower/shave legs etc at the gym.
Sit in a beer garden, not even for alcohol, just to sit and have a cool drink outside without that constant ever-so-slight panic that lays in your belly when you are in a pub garden with a 3yr old.
Preferably all these things by the sea - apart from the swimming, which is in my gym.
If it's summer - lie in the soft grass near the harbour, watching the boats and the water.

aristocat Mon 01-Jul-13 23:22:06

Read my book or check mumsnet/watch news bulletins

magentastardust Mon 01-Jul-13 23:22:21

Peaceful cup of coffee, quick sit in the back garden or quick 5 mins on the kindle-bliss!
Little things that you take for granted until you find yourself with lots of children!

MaxinePeakedistrict Mon 01-Jul-13 23:27:09

I read through my pile of letters, magazines, junk mail, catalogues etc. also enjoy crosswords which I find very absorbing so I don't mind hanging around.

If I'm in the car I might give the inside of the windows a bit of clean with wipes.

I sometimes read through my diary and think through how need to be organised, compile shopping lists etc. I go through my phone deleting messages.

Madratlady Mon 01-Jul-13 23:46:47

I quite often have a small knitting project in my bag if there's a chance I could be kept waiting.

If I don't have any knitting with me then I end up on the internet on my phone checking forums I use.

Madratlady Mon 01-Jul-13 23:47:59

A whole hour would be spent on the sofa reading, it's not something I get enough time for at the moment.

skyeskyeskye Mon 01-Jul-13 23:51:56

If I have five Minutes to spare I surf the net on my phone, either Facebook or Mumsnet or read a paper online.

firawla Tue 02-Jul-13 00:49:46

I just check facebook on my phone or maybe candy crush

Kveta Tue 02-Jul-13 01:31:41

5 minutes would be spent in silence, with my eyes closed.

A whole hour?! Reading would be lovely, but I know I would really end up putting a load of washing on, starting cooking a meal, clearing up toys, putting the hoover round etc. Out of the house, I would read though smile

DifferentNow Tue 02-Jul-13 01:40:18

I Mumsnet, check emails, reply to texts, review my diary etc. If I had a whole hour, I might just sit in silence. Sometimes, if I get home an hour before I need to leave again for the school pickup and the littlest DC has fallen asleep in the car, I will just sit in the car until it's time to go again and enjoy the quiet. My neighbours probably think I'm a weirdo.

BlueSkySoftSand Tue 02-Jul-13 02:20:07

Normally I would reach for the phone to check fb, messages, etc. But sometimes it proves worthwhile to actually do nothing, just to sit quietly for a moment and enjoy the peace!

wombatcheese Tue 02-Jul-13 02:23:39

Check BBC news app. If had a whole hour a coffee and newspaper in a cafe would be a treat, or a run and long hot shower.

pussinwellyboots Tue 02-Jul-13 05:41:58

There's always a number of short jobs that need doing in any downtime; paying the child minder, and other money related transfers, sorting out school letters, meal planning, and number of cleaning tasks. Or my number one; making a cup of tea and enjoying some time with tea and a good book.

chebella Tue 02-Jul-13 06:15:48

Make a list of things that Need Doing. Or even a list of lists!

GetKnitted Tue 02-Jul-13 06:52:10

5 minutes spare while out and about? Out comes the phone for facebook, goggling, or knittiing patterns. Occasionally open up my banking app (not barclays sorry).

When I have spare 5 minutes (which happens a lot as I'm habitually early) I make up stories about people I see around me. If they are good stories I type them up.
Hence a man I saw across a pub became a fictional pirate in a short story (he was wearing an eyepatch and a docker hat)
I suppose that counts as work. I am a storyteller, every day's a work daygrin.

cheeseandcrackers Tue 02-Jul-13 07:15:34

Spare 5 mins - read on Kindle, check facebook or mumsnet on phone.

If I had an extra hour (it would take much more than a week to add those 5mins up to an hour) - I woul probably make the most of an empty house by spending half of it doing housework that I normally struggle to get done with a toddler hanging off me, and spend the other half curled up on the sofa with a book and a bowl of ice-cream cup of tea.

CMOTDibbler Tue 02-Jul-13 07:34:37

5 minutes on a weekday, I'll be on my Blackberry doing work emails, and if theres nothing outstanding on there (v unusual, but like this week when most of the US are off, does happen), I'll phone a customer on my 'needs a call sometime' list.

5 minutes on the weekend, I'll be cleaning the inside of the car with babywipes while listening to R4.

A whole hour? Either laying in the bath with my kindle, a run (without the dog), or an hour horse grooming with no assistance from dh, ds or dog

CaptainSweatPants Tue 02-Jul-13 07:55:25

Check my bank balance on my phone app & then weep in 5 minutes grin

For a whole hour I'd sit down with a cup of tea and catch up on an episode of come dine with me

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 02-Jul-13 07:58:53

Mumsnet grin

GiraffesAndButterflies Tue 02-Jul-13 08:20:00

5 mins- check to-do list and add things to my next online groceries order.
An hour (like that would ever happen)- I keep failing to find time to call my mortgage adviser so I'd probably do that! Otherwise plan our next holiday.

iamhopeful Tue 02-Jul-13 08:48:23

Currently I would sleep! Or enjoy a nice coffee and a good book.

If I'm waiting somewhere nice, I'm quite happy to just sit back and wait, just relaxing and watching what's going on or daydreaming. If I'm in the car I might listen to the radio.
I often use a spare 5 minutes to catch up on my emails on my phone, check my calendar, Mumsnet, or call my mum for a chat.

If I had an extra hour a week to myself I'd bake or read the weekend newspaper.

nemno Tue 02-Jul-13 09:42:45

5 minutes when out and about I'll use just to watch the world go by. At home I'd do an extra email or news check on internet. Or a tidy of something like noticeboard/handbag.

An hour is tailor made time for a coffee and catchup of something in my recorded TV backlog.

carriedaway Tue 02-Jul-13 09:55:20

If i can i sit still and listen to a full song I love, otherwise mumsnet or Facebook. If I saved up an hours worth it would be wine and a new magazine of course smile - small pleasures!

gazzalw Tue 02-Jul-13 09:55:32

I sit and organise my personal emails, putting them in folders and deleting inconsequential ones - it's amazing how unruly one's on-air can become without constant housekeeping.....

motherinferior Tue 02-Jul-13 11:09:52

I select the choicest passing stranger and suggest a quick knee-trembler against the nearest wall.

THERhubarb Tue 02-Jul-13 11:25:14

Unexpected 5 minutes? I wish!
If I'm early for pick-up then there's usually something I need from the local shop which I can pop in to get. You can never have too many birthday cards, stamps or wrapping paper.

If I add up all the 5 minutes (I'm trying to go along with this idea that I actually have a spare 5 mins in the first place) then I could catch up with emails or even get a bit of extra work done on the computer.

However in my usual day, there is never enough hours or minutes.

My bank gives me a text every Monday morning which gives me a balance and the last 3 or 4 incomings/outgoings. I also get a text alert if the balance goes under a certain amount. I find that really handy.

I don't trust banking apps as I think that they are probably open to exploitation. I don't want my banking details on an app. Nothing is so secure that it can't be targeted by others.

trikken Tue 02-Jul-13 11:48:19

Sometimes I will use my phone to listen to the radio, or sometimes Facebook or Mumsnet or just call mum or a friend for a chat. Actually it mostly seems to involve my phone .

WhyIRayLiotta Tue 02-Jul-13 11:55:32

I look for recipes and wedding ideas on Pinterest.


daimbardiva Tue 02-Jul-13 12:17:06

I make sure I always have a magazine in the car, so I can sit and enjoy a few uninterrupted minutes of reading something frivolous!

WowOoo Tue 02-Jul-13 12:39:14

When I have an extra 5 minutes before pick up I read a bit of my book.

Yesterday, I filed my nails also.

thestringcheesemassacre Tue 02-Jul-13 12:55:08

I mostly read my book or catch up on news online.
Sometimes I will reply to outstanding texts or emails and make appointments etc.

Yankeedoodlenic Tue 02-Jul-13 13:21:21

My iPhone has my life on it so there is always something to do with a spare 5 minutes. I can either check in with my American friends & family via facebook, check the latest mum's net feeds or even open up my kindle app and read a few pages. I do bank with Barclays and have the mobile banking app - so if need be I can always check my account balance or make payments.

With an extra hour a week I would like Skype with my American family or maybe even treat myself to a manicure.

Yankeedoodlenic Tue 02-Jul-13 13:22:45

My iPhone has my life on it so there is always something to do with a spare 5 minutes. I can either check in with my American friends & family via facebook, check the latest mum's net feeds or even open up my kindle app and read a few pages. I do bank with Barclays and have the mobile banking app - so if need be I can always check my account balance or make payments.

With an extra hour a week I would like Skype with my American family or maybe even treat myself to a manicure.

youaintallthat Tue 02-Jul-13 13:36:47

I'd be on my phone catching up on emails, work or on Facebook /mumsnet preferably with a brew I hand too smile

lissieloo Tue 02-Jul-13 13:53:54

I always have my kindle with me or I browse FB or MN on my phone.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 14:34:56

Read, do the crossword in the newspaper, check my Lloyds online banking, clean the rubbish out of the car, tidy my handbag.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 02-Jul-13 14:50:41

Turn the radio up really loud and either.........

Check emails
Read, I always have a book or my kindle with me.
Clean the car dashboard with a baby wipe

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 02-Jul-13 14:52:42

Forgot to say that with an extra hour a week I would have an uninterrupted bath and take the time to read

Arcticwaffle Tue 02-Jul-13 15:08:34

Generally I'd read, or I'd do a bit of shopping, or I'd go for a 5 minute walk.

Lately, I'd just stare into space trying to rearrange my thoughts, life's been too busy.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 02-Jul-13 15:44:41

By being still - just for a those few precious moments.

I feel like I am on a constant treadmill; working, looking after the DCs and helping my ill and elderly parents. It is very rare for me to have any time at all, where I literally have to pause. So, on the rare occasions it happens - I will just sit and be still, look around me and see what other people are doing and accept those moments for the gift that they are.

Shells Tue 02-Jul-13 16:09:02

I'm afraid I go through my bag and sort out receipts, throw out rubbish etc. Very boring.
But if thats all under control then Sudoku, every time. Lovely.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 02-Jul-13 16:09:51

I usually try to reply to emails and texts I've forgotten about. Nothing interesting or inspiring.

PutThatDownNow Tue 02-Jul-13 16:13:46

I would probably feel I should fill the time checking texts and emails. What I wish I would do is just sit, quietly, and enjoy having 5 mins to myself to do nothing.

ouryve Tue 02-Jul-13 16:14:34

A spare 5 minute when I'm anywhere with the kids doesn't exist.

I often take my kindle or a sock to knit if I have my own appointments to wait for, though.

Last thing I would do is log into my bank account, using an app on my phone, in a public place. Phones are quite nickable enough without having access to my money on them, tyvm.

smokinaces Tue 02-Jul-13 17:07:39

Depends where I am! Carry a nook everywhere so often read. Or fb on my phone, or indeed mumsnet. If in the car I tidy up. Go through receipts in my purse. Tidy my handbag!

StainlessSteelCat Tue 02-Jul-13 17:30:33

few minutes? check email,texts or mumsnet. if longer, wander round the shops marvelling at the strangeness of looking at things. even longer and I'd have a coffee in the lovely cafe that is too narrow for buggies at the back. it even has free wifi so I'd be in my tablet. exceptional organization would mean I have a sketch pad with me.

I would not want to log in to my bank account onmy phone or tablet using a public wifi network. too many levels of risk of having a security lapse.

Check email / MN / FB on phone. Also have books downloaded into Kindle app so I can read those if no 3G / Wifi available. I chat to people. If all else fails I clear all the old receipts out of my handbag.

I don't do any mobile banking on portable devices because I don't really trust the security, home desktop only for me.

YoungBritishPissArtist Tue 02-Jul-13 17:50:33

I use my phone to catch up with emails and texts.

CalamityJ Tue 02-Jul-13 18:55:15

Eat, look in the mirror and make sure I'm presentable (sometimes the only chance I get) catch up on emails, read a few pages of my book or the Times app, go on Mumsnet!

ibbydibby Tue 02-Jul-13 19:00:19

Sit down and read a book OR Go for a bike ride OR do some knitting

MardyBra Tue 02-Jul-13 19:02:57

Check Facebook or MN.
Play words with friends. (Chaos is beating me at the moment. How come I'm being thrashed by the worst speller on MN?)

MardyBra Tue 02-Jul-13 19:03:13


K8Middleton Tue 02-Jul-13 19:07:44

Easy. Stare into the middle distance catatonically of course!

K8Middleton Tue 02-Jul-13 19:10:32

Or if waiting for a friend I might savour the taste of a glass of wine or a hot cup of coffee. Normally I would just be necking it as fast as possible before one of the kids played up.

Living the dream I am. Living the dream.

Doobydoo Tue 02-Jul-13 19:41:20


BananaramaLlama Tue 02-Jul-13 19:52:19

I always have my phone with me, so I facebook, Mumsnet, check emails and play Words with Friends

Firewall Tue 02-Jul-13 20:00:15

I play a short (addictive) game of the candy variety or have a browse of a news website to see what's going on around the world

Catmint Tue 02-Jul-13 20:30:21

Listen to what I want to.
Breathe deeply.
Remember who I am.

Kindle if I have it on me.
Or look over my photos on my iphone.
Or just sit and stare into space. grin

pipo Tue 02-Jul-13 20:48:55

a spare five minutes is usually spent on my BBC news app, or looking at BBC weather to see if my CD's sporting fixtures will be going ahead o or cancelled yet again !
a spare hour in the evening would be spent in a long hot bath with a book and a glass of wine
a spare hour in the daytime would be spent gardening or sitting in the garden, depending on the temperature.

malachite Tue 02-Jul-13 20:58:29

An extra hour of child-free time would mean a long hot bubble bath with a good book for me. That or a nap!

AllSWornOut Tue 02-Jul-13 21:33:35

I always have a magazine in my bag and I take great pleasure in having 5 minutes or more to myself where I can sit and read a few pages of my magazine in pace and quiet.

I always have a book in my bag, so immerse myself in that.

Otherwise-if there's any lovely shops nearby I'll nip in and have a wonderful childfree browse... so civilised!

Kegels. You can never do too many of them

bluebump Tue 02-Jul-13 21:53:51

I find it really hard to do nothing despite being quite lazy so every day when I go to collect my DS from school I go 5 mins early and sit and read one of the magazines that my sister passes my way (I keep a stash in the car). If I stay at home I tend to potter about tidying and cleaning...what a saddo!

When I have an hour spare without my DS I most likely will have a big bath and lay in there reading a book or watching something on iplayer.

sharond101 Tue 02-Jul-13 22:08:57

I file my nails, be mindful and declutter my mobile phone, oh and of course people watch.

GeekInThePink Tue 02-Jul-13 22:12:21

Mumsnetting and a cheeky bit of Pinterest. I will if I'm feeling brave, will check my bank balance on the app on my phone too. Only on brave days mind!

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 02-Jul-13 22:20:35

I people watch and snurk, I also make lists of shopping and things to do. But I mostly people watch. Anyone will do!

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 02-Jul-13 22:21:44

oh god and an extra hour could also be spent people watching or walking or cooking

gloriafloria Tue 02-Jul-13 22:23:13

Be still.... like vegetables. Seriously, just sitting rocking clearing my mind and making the most of the silence. Definitely not watching bigbrother smile no never do that me.

pinkponk Tue 02-Jul-13 22:35:55

It's got to be a good cup of coffee & a magazine for me!

tinypumpkin Tue 02-Jul-13 23:05:21

Catch up on email . texts and work stuff (boring!) I love the idea of eating some illicit though, that was a genius idea smile An extra hour, I truly don't know. I would love to ready a magazine in the bath I think.

fuckwittery Tue 02-Jul-13 23:32:38

What, no else does their pelvic floor exercises? <tightest flange on mumsnet> <proud> <boast>

motherinferior probably gets the saggiest award

BonzoDooDah Tue 02-Jul-13 23:38:56

mess about on my phone mostly. angry But now I've delete that parasite Candy Crush I'm ing to try reading more.

stealthsquiggle Tue 02-Jul-13 23:49:27

MN. Email (since I do, actually have a job!). Read the news. If I am early for a meeting and can find somewhere suitable to park, I will catnap I can sleep anywhere, anytime, me

Can't say I pay bills although I might shop (online).

defineme Wed 03-Jul-13 00:02:25

organize diary
Daydream about winning the lottery

1 hour= bath and book

CointreauVersial Wed 03-Jul-13 00:05:44

A spare 5 minutes while out and about is rare indeed, but I'd probably indulge in a quick game of Candy Crush on my phone. Or look at Twitter. Or possibly Mumsnet...?

Kleptronic Wed 03-Jul-13 00:11:18

Stealth iron - sneak up on one thing and pounce, then run away - it's the only way it gets done, standing there for hours is bloody soul destroying.
Micro tidy - bag up parking reciepts/fruit shoot bottles/sweet wrappers from the car.
Fridge furtling - chuck out something woebegone.
Dog dandyism - give the canine a swift brush down.
Floor de-furring - see above, long handled brush and dust pan.
Plant husbandry - snip and spray.
Bag de-clattering - remove receipts, to-do lists, mini statements and assorted child gifts of feathers, stones, glass, pottery and shells.

Actually now I think about it I do everything in 5 minute bursts on route to something else, the only way to deal with the mind-numbing tedium of everyday existence is to chop the bastard up into chewable chunks.

blue22 Wed 03-Jul-13 06:33:42

With a spare 5 mins I would check my emails, or read a newspaper.
With a whole spare hour I'd try to get some online shopping done - supermarket and amazon stuff, or have a long hot bath - and paint my toenails!

Triumphoveradversity Wed 03-Jul-13 07:11:55

Look on apps on phone, very often MN or plan lists in my head of stuff to do. Then try and find pen to write list, if no paper then I send myself an email. I don't like the diary on my phone.

LucyWildelovesGru Wed 03-Jul-13 07:55:01

I usually do an online shop. I can do the basics plus any bits on my list in five minutes.

I'd like to sit with my eyes closed listening to music, but then the children would starve...

prakattack Wed 03-Jul-13 08:25:03

I'm the same as plenty of previous posters - I've taken to carrying my Kindle everywhere and whenever one of these moments occurs, I do some reading. I don't get the chance anywhere near as much as pre-kids.

If I had a whole hour a week though, I'd indulge in an uninterrupted bubble bath (with my Kindle!)

Gracelo Wed 03-Jul-13 09:22:20

It actually doesn't happen much to me at all. If I had 5 minutes I'd probably just sit down, close my eyes and enjoy that nobody is talking at me. 10 min, I'd read or if I am at home I potter around in the garden. If I had an entire hour I'd go for a walk and relish being able to walk fast while hanging on to my own thoughts.

culturemulcher Wed 03-Jul-13 10:32:22

I try to remember to put the book I'm reading into my bag for moments like these, but if I've forgotten, it's a quick catch up on emails, Mumsnet, Twitter and Facebook.

I'd spend an extra hour reading, given the chance.

HappyJoyful Wed 03-Jul-13 11:43:36

If a friend is running late, I simply enjoy the silence sip my wine and people watch!

FOMOphobic Wed 03-Jul-13 12:18:52

It's all on my phone - candycrush, check emails, check news, send texts, MN.

flamingtoaster Wed 03-Jul-13 16:12:39

When picking up the children I always had some reading in the car/paperwork that needed sorting out/knitting or mending to fill any odd five minute delays. In the house a spare five minutes is used on tidying - it's amazing how much you can get done in five minutes. A whole hour I would sit in the garden (weather permitting) and relax and listen to the birdsong. In winter I'd toboggan if it snowed.

PiHigh Wed 03-Jul-13 16:20:02

Usually check email, facebook, mumsnet, a couple of other forums. If it's convenient, studying. Sometimes it's just nice to enjoy the quiet.

HotheadPaisan Wed 03-Jul-13 16:48:35

Twitter or MN or some other Internet thing from my mobile.

mrsbabookaloo Wed 03-Jul-13 16:50:36

I tend to look on through the photos on my phone, reliving recent fun times. Or tidy out my purse or make a list.

An hour would be time for a nice nap!

When I get a spare 5 minutes I either check emails or text friends or make lists of things I need to remember/do which will hopefully help contribute to saving me enough time to have an hour free!

When I get an hour to myself, I like to have a long soak in the bath (preferably with a g&t or glass of wine and a book)

carabossse Wed 03-Jul-13 17:13:52

In the car- reply to texts or emails. Tidy the car, reset the car's time clock (often a few minutes out.)
At home - eat with no interruptions, read.

An hour of guaranteed free time? Book & bath ideally. Or paperwork or another job that requires a bit of concentration.

johnworf Wed 03-Jul-13 18:08:00

Clear out my handbag and purse of receipts, sweet wrappers etc. Put the dishwasher on. Put some washing away.

If I'm in the car; check emails, tidy up, check fuel.

In the evening when the children and there is a tv prog I want to watch that starts in a few minutes I'll run round with the rechargeable vac, wipe down the counter, make packed lunch. Knit whilst I'm watching said tv prog wink

At the moment five minutes peace is so rare that I would do absolutely nothing. There's nothing I covet more than a good old stare into space, without being interrupted.

k8vincent Wed 03-Jul-13 19:38:00

Sometimes I have a little sing to myself. At home I might whip out a cookery book and plan what treats to bake.
Who am I kidding? Mostly, with 5 mins to spare I think about what to do with the 5 mins . . . and then it is gone.

JoyceDivision Wed 03-Jul-13 21:07:50

Read read read! I keep a 'car book' in the passenger side of the car and read a few chapters if I'm running early and have no need to get anywhere. Bliss.

Just reading A Trick I learnt from dead men at teh mo

Elainey1609 Wed 03-Jul-13 22:18:52

catch up on some reading.
I always have a book in my bag but hardly ever get it out
so would read even if it is a page.
Although i will admit to sometimes just closing my eyes and taking a deep breath and listen to a little chill fm

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Wed 03-Jul-13 23:00:21

I like to sit and watch the world go by. But only if I have sunglasses on.
A spare hour? Coffee and book or mumsnet but mainly just enjoy silence

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Wed 03-Jul-13 23:07:08

Depends where I am/who I'm with I suppose. Assuming I'm alone and somewhere scenic I'd go for a relaxing stroll and let my mind wander/admire the scenery, possibly stopping for a coffee if the chance arises - I used to be so self conscious about dining alone but since becoming a parent if I get the chance to have a cup of coffee on my own I really savour it and feel very 'grown up' <saddo emoticon>

If I'm waiting for the kids I'll listen to the radio/read my butt clench exercises (I'm very aware of things heading south lately) - but only if I'm sitting down/no one can see my bottom! <cringeeeee>

RachelHRD Wed 03-Jul-13 23:17:37

It's rare but a spot of Mumsnetting, a few zombies anihilated on Plants vs Zombies, ideally with a coffee sitting in the sunshine enjoying the silence!!

RachelHRD Wed 03-Jul-13 23:18:39

It's rare but a spot of Mumsnetting, a few zombies anihilated on Plants vs Zombies, ideally with a coffee sitting in the sunshine enjoying the silence!!

RachelHRD Wed 03-Jul-13 23:19:17

Oops blush

lottiegarbanzo Wed 03-Jul-13 23:31:29


An hour? Read, or bath, or swim, or sleep.

May09Bump Thu 04-Jul-13 05:16:27

read my kindle, check emails / facebook & jot down any reminders I have thought about/

Jux Thu 04-Jul-13 09:03:36

I usually have a book with me so an unexpected 5 mins free would become reading time. Possibly not at school pick up (when dd was in primary) as I'd be more likely to have a chat with another parent. If I was so early that there were o other parents there, then I'd read.

There is absolutely no way I would use that time to do banking. That gets done on my pc at home.

An extra hour? Nice long bath with a book and a cuppa to keep me company.

beeelaine Thu 04-Jul-13 10:38:17

dont laugh, but i like to do buttock clenches (even if you are out when you have 5 mins spare - waiting for a bus etc no one will know if you are wearing a coat lol), if im at home i always use spare 5 mins or more with a bit of crochet (then all the squares add up to a blanket in the end). With a full hour? hmmm so many things you can do in an hour, but i think take the bike ride (didnt realise how out of shape i was until i got back on a bike)!

Lifeisontheup Thu 04-Jul-13 11:25:52

I always have my kindle with me so would generally read, other than that I would just be and enjoy the space. I would not be using that time to do banking etc.

EstelleGetty Thu 04-Jul-13 11:44:50

I take a minute to do a little relaxation exercise and then do something nice for myself, like put on some lovely handcream.

fothergill Thu 04-Jul-13 12:29:01

For 5 minutes I will obsessively check email and refresh the latest online job application screen until I read 'you have been unsuccessful this time' again.
For an hour, I would tragically look for interesting bargainous shoes on ebay.

amrobe Thu 04-Jul-13 14:49:38

I would sit down with a hot cup of tea and catch up on a programme that I've recorded and not had a chance to watch.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 04-Jul-13 15:20:40

I'm currently really addicted to a new app I downloaded called Duolingo - it helps you learn a new language and I can now say "My husband is wearing his sister's dress and he likes it" in German grin (For some reason all of the phrases seem to combine to make hilarious innuendo, or pehaps I'm just immature!)

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 04-Jul-13 15:22:39

Oops didn't say - that's evidently my go-to spare 5 mins app.

Or terribly unpopular but I might have a cigarette.

Also been known to read on kindle app but not in a 5 minute slot, unless I'm reading one of those books which is just a collection of anecdotes.

iwantavuvezela Thu 04-Jul-13 15:26:49

If I was in the car I would enjoy listening to the radio, on my own, without having to play I Spy or some other game! For a whole hour, I would probably nip into a nice local cafe, get a takeaway coffee, sit back, enjoy the news, and probably end up checking a few emails, and sending some personal texts out to friends who I havnt had a chance to catch up on.

Charlene1 Thu 04-Jul-13 18:31:06

I'd find the nearest shop and have a browse round! smile

elizaco Thu 04-Jul-13 18:44:41

I try to remember to have a book or magazine with me, otherwise I just relax and listen to the radio.

nerysw Thu 04-Jul-13 19:29:38

A few minutes messing about on the internet is fun but I always carry a book around with me so if I'm waiting for something on the go I can read.

majjsu Thu 04-Jul-13 19:51:35

I sit and chill, people watching hopefully near to a coffee shop where I can enjoy a latte.

IncaAztec Thu 04-Jul-13 20:52:44

5 minutes alone - check my finances are in order and maybe eat a chocolatey treat or two!

1 hour - Spa treatment or hair cut I think..

littlemonkeychops Thu 04-Jul-13 21:34:40

Usually use my phone to read the news and then reply to emails and send some to people i've not had a chance to contact for a while. Can't do much else if it's unexpected as i wouldn't be prepared.

If i had a whole hour i'd probably go clothes shopping, my toddler and newborn mean trying on clothes and browsing aren't normally possible.

lottietiger Thu 04-Jul-13 22:15:12

If I have a spare 5 mins id probably be in the car so I would chose a song to listen to depending on my mood and answer my texts

biffsmom Thu 04-Jul-13 22:16:59

Id like to pop in a paper shop and grab a paper and a treat for the kids.

yegodsandlittlefishes Thu 04-Jul-13 22:33:05

Every 5 minutes spare I get here and there, I either do a little tidy up or I crochet. Since Christmas, I've crocheted a king sized blanket, a baby blanket, and 3 single sized ones, about 30 scarves and am half way through an all cotton blanket I've invented a pattern for (while using up some time in a doctor's waiting room).

yegodsandlittlefishes Thu 04-Jul-13 22:38:27

If I have an extra hour, it would now be used on the wii, 20 minutes aerobic exercises and then 20 minutes (a bit later on) on yoga stretches and later, when the family are home, 20 minutes with one/all of them doing something like wii bowling, golf of basketball. I've been off sick for a while and am just starting to get my strength back, so it's something I have to make time for.

trice Thu 04-Jul-13 23:06:16

I keep a half knitted sock in my glove box for when I get stuck waiting around. I listen to the radio and knit, or doodle, or make up limericks. I also like to learn poetry but that relies on my phone having signal.

If I only had five mins though I would just do my pelvic floor exercises.

Sodabread Thu 04-Jul-13 23:07:20

Have a cup of coffee and read one of the saved supplements from a weekend paper, that I have piled up on the side and never have a chance to read.

Wuldric Thu 04-Jul-13 23:12:27

I flick into my blackberry and start answering emails. Work-related emails. Like my male colleagues do.

I really object to the tone of this sponsored discussion. It is so utterly patronising. The tone is that I am a Mum therefore I must have oodles of spare time while I am waiting around for them.

It ain't so. It really really ain't so.

I am treasuring the memory of picketing Barclays in my student days. Y'know for being pro-Apartheid and all that.

Here Barclays Customers. Have a virtual leaflet from me.

Rajie Thu 04-Jul-13 23:26:54

I read, check my emails, call up my family who do not live in England, send a few text messages, catch up for a quick chat with friends..

If I have been with the kids, I probably need at least a couple of those 5 minutes to go for a wee in peace, I'll probably be desperate by then!

I use the odd 5 minutes to catch up on text messages with friends, go on Facebook and Mumsnet.

Punkatheart Fri 05-Jul-13 09:19:46

I'm a writer - so I spend any spare time pitching for work or researching current work.

choccyp1g Fri 05-Jul-13 09:31:28

If I am early for pick up I practise Spanish- I am trying to learn to support DS, and keep the book and CD in the car.

If someone is late arriving at my house I just thank god and carry on frantically tidying.

RiaBexleyGreenwichLE Fri 05-Jul-13 09:44:34

Checking balances or payment dates on credit cards or catalogues so that I don't get caught out with late payments!

With an extra hour a week, I might be able to find time to do some exercise...

mrsbunnyw Fri 05-Jul-13 16:24:44

For just a few minutes, I would mostly check my emails and browse facebook. If I have longer then I read a book on my phone via a Kindle app.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 16:35:13

Choccy you should try Duolingo if you have a smartphone - it's a free app and is great! smile

HairyPoppins Fri 05-Jul-13 18:25:31

Make a coffee then check my to do list (in my notebook) for what I should actually be doing.

colditz Fri 05-Jul-13 18:27:13

A lot of posters have tread the title, it seems.

Usually I would make a phone call.

hesterton Fri 05-Jul-13 18:36:27

Coffee and cake at an outside or window table in an independent coffee shop. Watch the world go by and enjoy a moment of spotting lovely small things to smile at. A pair of goths kissing, a random little kindness or a very happy little person clutching a balloon.

Geniene Fri 05-Jul-13 18:53:51

Having two children I find it hard to keep in touch with all my girly friends, so if I have a spare 5 mins I use it to text or call a couple of them to say hi and make a date to see them for a good catch up smile

serendipity1980 Fri 05-Jul-13 20:09:15

When have unexpected free time, I often use it to organise my calendar, write texts, emails. I also update my to-do list!

Nigglenaggle Fri 05-Jul-13 21:07:01

Take a few deep breaths and appreciate being outdoors. Feel the sun or rain on my skin. I work 10hr shifts and sometimes dont see the sky all day so make the most of every moment when I'm not working... Although there are times when I might not be able to resist checking facebook ^^

treaclesoda Fri 05-Jul-13 21:33:31

Another who enjoys a quick read here. Kindle has been a life changer - I always used to find myself thinking 'I wish I had a book with me' but they were too bulky to carry around. Kindle is so convenient that I now take it everywhere.

peronel Fri 05-Jul-13 22:07:07

Pick up a newspaper.

zipzap Fri 05-Jul-13 22:36:06

I'd grab a chance for a quick update on Mumsnet and Facebook - which comes first depends on which I've already looked at and if anything particularly interesting or exciting is happening on either of them.

After that I would look at Twitter - I'm more of a lurker than poster on there although I do occasionally post. But I do follow lots of people in my industry who are prolific posters and find it a really useful way to keep up to date with who is doing what, good papers or articles to read (that I'll either read there and then or stick onto an app like Instapaper to read later).

I do try to keep lists of things to do and shopping on my phone but I do like to have physical lists too so I keep a few spare cards in my bag in case I need to write or update any lists - these might get done in a few spare minutes, especially if I'm sitting waiting in the car rather than lurking in the playground or waiting outside a restaurant.

If it's near christmas then I keep a bag with all my christmas card lists, cards, stamps, addresses etc and try to get to school early - not only do I get a decent parking spot, I can put something nice on to listen to and have a few quiet minutes to get a good few done, a few days of this will make really good inroads into an otherwise arduous task.

If one of the dc is having their hair cut then forget free time - I'm closely monitoring. Luckily I have very deliberately not taught ds1 (8) the words 'big spiky mohican' as this is what he describes when at the barbers - whilst I am there saying 'actually just a short back and sides like normal'. And if dh takes ds1 to the barbers then I am too stressed to do anything other than worry what ds1 is going to look like when he comes back as chances are that a) he will describe what he wants again and dh will say 'oh you mean a big spiky mohican, that sounds fun' and let him have one or b) dh will decide to get his hair cut at the same time, they'll end up doing this concurrently instead of consecutively, end up seated apart and it will be left to ds to say what he wants doing to his hair...

janekirk Fri 05-Jul-13 22:51:31

I close my eyes and meditate on everything good in my life.

I tend to play a game on my phone or rather oddly work through bills etc... while I have a few minutes to think about it properly. If I had an hour I would most likely to to a little cafe and have a huge hot chocolate and a muffin and mumsnet

stephgr Sat 06-Jul-13 01:52:13

I'd just shut my eyes and focus on my breathing so I'm calm and relaxed for a change!

Cherryoats Sat 06-Jul-13 07:22:45

I end up doing things like this on mn!
I also look at fb, text people back, try and quickly tidy the house if at home.

yetanotherworry Sat 06-Jul-13 12:16:47

My indulgences when I find some free time are:
1. I make a cup of tea and sit in a sunny spot with a magazine or my kindle.
2. I've also been known to have a relaxing bath in the middle of the day when I can have the water at the temperature I like it without extra bodies jumping in and then complaining that the water is too hot. I've tried having a bath after the kids are in bed but one of them will always come in for a chat with the excuse of needing the toilet for a stinky poo!

declansmum Sat 06-Jul-13 14:08:09

If I have unexpected free time I ususally find myself people watching. I work in the NHS and get to see all sorts on a daily basis so when I have a few minutes to myself I sometimes find myself thinking of the people I've seen that day and wondering how they must cope, it reminds me to count my blessings and stop sweating about the small stuff that I can usually do something about.

starlight36 Sat 06-Jul-13 18:40:49

Sort out all of the mess in my handbag. There are usually a few used wet wipes and a stash of receipts or out of date coupons lurking in there which I never manage to sort through at home.

MadMonkeys Sat 06-Jul-13 18:42:02

Depends where I was. The list of possibles would be:

Drink a cup of tea while it is still hot

Wonder aimlessly around my garden in peace

Read a book - I miss this!

Have a nap.

These are all things I NEVER have time to do!

gazzalw Sat 06-Jul-13 19:29:38

Checking emails and transferrring dates into my (paper) diary - yes, I'm a dinosaur in some ways!

likesnowflakesinanocean Sat 06-Jul-13 20:19:54

unexpected free time out of the house i browse at stuff that the dcs would be bored with like baking stuff or shoes!

StickyFloor Sat 06-Jul-13 20:32:26

Unexpected 5 minutes: check BBC news website, read a few pages on Kindle, read trashy magazine, wipe down some dusty surfaces, splash bleach into the toilets, check FB or Mumsnet, sit in silence and think about the day ahead

Unexpected hour: SLEEP IN MY BED ALONE whatever the time of day, this would be a lovely luxury

telsa Sat 06-Jul-13 20:58:11

Read a book or a free newspaper. Window shop. Write a poem.

CheeseStrawCraving Sun 07-Jul-13 00:20:01

Cup of tea, cuddle with my puppy, and a read of whatever 'becoming a parent for the first time' book I happen to have to hand. Or, probably more often, a cup of tea and a load of DH's washing.... He's a chef so lots of it, always!

Rarely happens these days, with so much going on but on the rare occasion it does happen i tend to just switch off and relax for that time just to have 5 minutes in a day where i don't have to be somewhere or be on my way somewhere is too precious to flutter away ;)

lottieandmia Sun 07-Jul-13 01:42:45

read my kindle
paint my nails
nip to a clothes shop (I don't have much child free time!!)

ifindoubtnamechange Sun 07-Jul-13 11:12:09

Eat. Text. breathe. Clean out the glove compartment/boot/my bag.

I don't have spare time really - have a toddler/work full-time and am starting a new business. Would love an extra hour of sleep!

LaTrucha Sun 07-Jul-13 15:10:00

I do the household job that has been annoying me most - sweeping the sideboards of things that shouldn't be there, hoovering, hanging out the washing) but usually I will make a cup of tea first, leave it to cool while I do the job, and I usually have a minute to sit down and enjoy it at the end. It's amazing how much you ca get done and how much it relaxes me.

idontgivearatsass Sun 07-Jul-13 17:49:37

mumsnetting!! Currently I keeping rushing back on the 'how to save' thread to get even more tips!!

Reastie Sun 07-Jul-13 18:33:47

That never happens to me <sigh>. If I had a book with me I'd definitely spend the time reading and relaxing, otherwise I might do a bit of window shopping if I'm near shops. If I had a phone with the internet on it I would probably do some emails etc.

I sew on brownie/rainbow badges or little bits of mending which otherwise would never get done!

jollygoose Sun 07-Jul-13 19:08:42

I phone my daughter for a gossip, mainly to hear the latest funny thing our 3 year old grandson has said.

smileyhappymummy Sun 07-Jul-13 20:02:36

Read a book. Every time. I love it.

Blatherskite Sun 07-Jul-13 20:08:29

With a spare 5 minutes, I'd check FB or MN on my phone. Every now and again, I like to spend a spare hour either going for a run or watching something I want to watch on TV without the kids or DH bothering me to turn it over.

IceNoSlice Sun 07-Jul-13 22:04:20

In my spare five minutes I would review my 'to do' list and see what I could get done- buying stuff online for DC, gifts, online groceries etc. By getting (and staying) super organised, I can spend proper time with the people I love without being distracted by chores.

In my mythical spare hour... It would have to be something just for me. Either exercise (long run, swimming, Pilates class) or a pamper with a long bath, face pack and something good to listen to on iplayer.

beanandspud Sun 07-Jul-13 22:34:31

For five minutes I would just sit and enjoy the peace. If there was time for a coffee that would be a bonus!

daisybrown Sun 07-Jul-13 23:02:59

I think of a way each member of the family has made me smile or feel good recently.

helibee Mon 08-Jul-13 02:53:28

I would love 5 min to go to the bathroom without little people trying to accompany me grin

An hour to myself and I would sit and enjoy the silence and probably nap.

Namechanger012345 Mon 08-Jul-13 04:16:15

If just 5 minutes I would just listen to music on my phone, check the news on my newspaper apps or check my email.

If an hour, I would have a look round the shops, get a coffee in peace, read a book, whatever I felt like at the time.

BooMeowson Mon 08-Jul-13 11:00:02

I sit and just be for a few minutes, and be sure to smile!

If I'm in the car I recline the seat, put the radio on and close my eyes and just 'be' for a few minutes. In fact I arrive early to things on purpose to do this, I'm n the go ever day all day so this keeps me sane.

I also read/browse the internet, phone a friend or browse a local shop if I'm near one. All things I don't get to do other times.

If I spot an empty or quiet play park I take the baby in, he is sill young enough to enjoy a few minutes on the swing or slide without moaning for longer.

If I had an hour?

I'd swim or sit on the beach and chill out. Again both things I don't get to do ever. smile

NomDeClavier Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:16

5 minutes out and about - whip my book out and spend the time trying to remember where I was because my bookmark's fallen out, or make a shopping list and possibly do some Internet based admin (like banking!)

A whole hour - I'd go and have a massage and a manicure

ChisteraWidow Mon 08-Jul-13 11:47:13

Read something - I have the Kindle app on my phone so I don't even need to remember to take the kindle out with me, otherwise I look at Facebook and catch up with personal emails.

PicnicPie Mon 08-Jul-13 12:01:40

Make a phone call to one of my many friends or relatives who I just don't get time to call anymore since becoming a's a quick hello, how are you? It's never enough for a full on conversation but just enough to say I'm thinking about you, I miss you and is more personable than a text.

hairtwiddler Mon 08-Jul-13 14:40:58

I'm doing a PhD so I either make notes in my trusty moleskin or I pick up something to read. I always have something with me. At other times I just enjoy the peace and stare into space.

Leanna1984 Mon 08-Jul-13 19:56:21

Catch up on emails and facebook and maybe have a go on candy crush

TiredFeet Mon 08-Jul-13 20:11:38

Mumsnet, emails, facebook or read the news on my phone normally. If I had a whole hour spare I would probably read a book (but in reality would probably fall asleep after 10 minutes!)

MadCap Mon 08-Jul-13 20:42:16

I generally potter about on the internet and I keep a book in the glove box in case the kids fall asleep on the way somewhere in the car.

CaurnieBred Mon 08-Jul-13 20:48:23

I had this on Saturday. I went to the local gastropub, sat on the patio in the shade drinking a lovely, refreshing sodawater and lime, and had freshly BBQ'd lamb skewers with flat bread to eat. Was absolute bliss.

PickleFish Mon 08-Jul-13 21:23:51

solve a crossword
take a photo

Iwaswatchingthat Mon 08-Jul-13 21:26:40

Honestly? I get out my emery board and file my nails!! Not very hi tech, but i Love a bit of impromptu grooming!!! :-)

cafecito Tue 09-Jul-13 01:05:44

will Barclays make me a new app then?

hmm. I like all their apps. especially their homeowner app.

I would read medical kindle books on ipad mini or pull out pharmacology flash cards from my bag *not very exciting. If no ipad or flashcards, I would read a book or in absolute case of emergency go on twitter and read what's going on. and drink coffee.

fuzzpig Tue 09-Jul-13 08:01:50

I'm not a very sociable person really so with things like the school run I try and get there without any time to spare blush but in instances where I do have a few minutes:

- I also take my kindle to most places with me. I work in a library so I do read plenty of 'real' (IYSWIM) books too, but the kindle is so lightweight and also means I'm not wasting the spare 5 minutes faffing about with a bookmark that's fallen out in my bag etc. I get the bus to work and enjoy reading on the relatively short journey. And I have lots of 'a few minutes spare' waiting for buses.

- I love my puzzle magazine (Beyond Sudoku, it's got lots of different logic puzzles) although I am less likely to take it out with me - I generally prefer to spend ages on one puzzle til it's finished rather than dipping in and out.

- Eat whatever is lurking in my bag blush

- Check MN or FB if my 3G is working (I used to do this a lot more, when I had an iPhone!)

- Games on my phone (again not so much now I'm not on iOS) or on iPad if I'm at home.

- Come up with lists in my head, eg things I need on next shopping order, what my next thing to declutter in my house should be, things to do in summer. Sometimes I write them on my phone.

- However if it really is just 5 minutes outside I am most likely to just sit/lean against something and enjoy the peace and quiet!

If I had an hour in total I would probably dedicate it to reading - I really don't do this as much as I'd like.

fuzzpig Tue 09-Jul-13 08:03:23

I sometimes also phone my mum or dad, or DH. I don't generally speak to many other people on the phone (shy)

Badvoc Tue 09-Jul-13 08:05:46

I read my kindle, watch re runs if my fave comedy's on tv or on DVD.
Have a loooonnng bath.
Browse around gift shops and have a coffee at a cafe....all things that a slightly traumatic with dc in tow!

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 10:36:33

I keep my Kindle in my handbag at all times!

So 5 minutes here or there is used to keep up with my reading.

An hour truly free (yeah, alright, like thats gonna happen grin) I would go to the lovely tea shop in town, order an afternoon cream tea and read!

On the rare occasion I get 5 mins, I get out my iPad check and update the diary, check bank balance against the budget and update the 'to-do' list.
After that, a bit of MNing or candy crush smile

billybear Tue 09-Jul-13 19:24:48

paint my toe nails a bright colour

barmaid Tue 09-Jul-13 20:09:48

Pop my headphones in, shut my eyes and dance to my favourite song!

cafecito Tue 09-Jul-13 20:13:23

yes, to do lists

BustyDeLaGhetto Wed 10-Jul-13 00:11:28

I'd probably have a wank or two smile

Missed out the bit about the elusive extra hour.
I would probably have a bath and give myself a facial, wash and blow dry my hair.
Quite boring, but I miss having the time to do a bit of pampering.

ThePearShapedToad Wed 10-Jul-13 14:04:43

For a precious few minutes, indulging in something gooey and chocolatey and decadent that would otherwise feel guilty about eating in front of others; for a full glorious hour-
Deepest hottest bubbliest bath with Adrian Mole and a giant mug of properly brewed, tea leaves in a pot cup of tea smile

The question was about an unexpected 5 minutes out of the house. I'm very impressed with the resources some of you carry around grin

DoubleMum Wed 10-Jul-13 15:47:18

I carry my kindle to read, and smartphone to check emails.

Puppypoppet Wed 10-Jul-13 16:09:17

Catch up on emails, facebook, twitter, mumsnet and moneysavingexpert.

purpleaura Wed 10-Jul-13 18:18:48

In five mins, I would be reading the pregnancy talk forums on mumsnet. If I had a whole hour, I'd buy a paper and find a comfy seat in a nearby cafe and savour the crossword smile

twoboots Wed 10-Jul-13 18:53:31

play candy crush on my iphone

Clawdy Wed 10-Jul-13 20:48:20

With a spare five minutes I'd happily browse in the nearest bookshop or gift shop.

sc00ter Thu 11-Jul-13 14:17:57

I love my MP3 Player and I have it loaded with books.
I only listen to Motivational Books the likes of Jim Rohn, so I educate myself while I am on the move.
If I get a spare moment or two at home I like to meditate, again with MP3 Player. I have relaxing types of music on there for that.
If I have a whole hour I would be extremely motivated or relaxed.

Alidoll Thu 11-Jul-13 17:17:01

I'll admit it..I'd enter a competition or two (she says as daughter is snoozing at the side of her!). ;)

Doha Thu 11-Jul-13 19:21:33

I use my Kindle fire to catch up on MN FB pay bills etc or even just read the latest novel downloaded from internet

JemimaPuddle Thu 11-Jul-13 19:35:04

With 5 minutes spare I would either MN on my phone or read my kindle.

A whole hour would be either sleeping or eating neither of which I ever get to do uninterrupted!

makemineamalibuandpineapple Thu 11-Jul-13 20:52:34

I love to use my iPad in a spare 5 mins. Usually catch up on the news, mumsnet or Facebook.

florencebabyjo Fri 12-Jul-13 15:47:06

Find a lovely tea shop and order a latte and a piece of the most gorgeous looking cake they have. Then I would truly enjoy eating this all by myself, savouring every mouthful without any little voices begging me for some, or worse helping themselves without asking.
I might make a list of what I need to do for the next day, shopping, meals and other tasks, so I would leave feeling both refreshed and rested as well as organised and virtuous, having had just that bit of me time to give me the energy boost I needed to give my family the very best of me smile

Trouvere Fri 12-Jul-13 16:23:58

Listen to the silence. Search online for unusual ice cream flavours to try. Do an online survey for pennies. Weed the garden. Plant some more radishes or leaf salad mix. Give plants a pep talk. Squash aphids.

AbuseHamzaMousseCake Fri 12-Jul-13 17:04:44

Crochet a granny square or two
Catch up with friends/family on WhatsApp. We have groups set up so can have ongoing conversations that you can dip in and out of. grin
Meal plan.
Do Guardian crossword
Read - either news via smartphone or book/short story via kindle app
Check calendar up to date and read emails
Check HotUkDeals for any bargain deals and of course Mumsnet!

Spottybra Sat 13-Jul-13 20:45:00

Spare 5 mins?
My life is on my phone, with 5 m

Spottybra Sat 13-Jul-13 20:52:19

Sorry, two year old pressed the phone and hit post.....

So, 5 mins....
Type up a shoppibg list
Search for cooking inspirations online (my 3 yr old has food allergies to common foods such as potato but I'm a good cook and can adapt things, but cos his diet is strict I want him to try different dishes as much as possible)
Read or download a new book from wattpad
Schedule appointments and update my diary
Send emails or read emails
Shop online. With a 3 yr old and a 2 yr old I am constantly buying new clothes as they grow.

I refuse to do grocery shopping online as I can't have substitutes because of diet restrictions and I cannot stand only having three quarters of my shop delivered. It's just annoying.

Hopezibah Sat 13-Jul-13 21:39:27

that rare spare 5 minutes never seems to happen to me! but here's what I tend to do if it does...

I keep a book I am reading in the glove compartment of the car and read a bit.

I also keep a bible in there in case I get the chance to read that.

I keep a little notepad with me and use it to make lots of lists of things as otherwise things will just fly into and out of my mind. So shopping lists, to do lists etc get updated.

Just be! I think it is so difficult to be still and not 'do' anything in those spare minutes. So sometimes I just take the time to look at the sky, kick the leaves, or look at a flower or bird.

SaltySeaBird Sun 14-Jul-13 18:10:48

I use iBooks on my iPhone to read for a few moments. I wouldn't necessarily have my Kindle with me if I had an unexpected 5 mins but I do normally have my phone on me. I've even read a few pages while waiting for a train at the level crossing.

Depending on the day of the week I jot down a few ideas for a meal plan the following week as that saves me time when I later do my shopping list.

I check my phone for unanswered texts and fire off a few.

NorkyButNice Mon 15-Jul-13 10:43:20

If I get a spare few minutes I tend to check my emails on my phone then flick to MN or a news site.

If I have longer then I'll grab my Kindle and try to catch up on one of the many unread books I've got stacked up. OR get out in the garden to do some weeding or watering (desperately needed!).

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jul-13 11:00:52

Hello - thanks for all your comments!

Am pleased to say treaclesoda wins the £200 JL voucher. Well done.

BoyMeetsWorld Tue 16-Jul-13 22:33:17

I make Lists when i get a sudden 5 minutes. Lists are my life. I jot them down in Notepad on my iPhone - lists of what shipping we need; Christmas prezzie ideas for DH and the kids; lists of what things we need to pay for this month; To Do lists; fantasy baby name lists smile those 5 minute lists save me a LOT of time in the long run...

Letitsnow9 Thu 18-Jul-13 19:36:21

Taking in big breaths of fresh air and taking note of nature, be it watching the birds or the leaves blowing in the wind

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