Help me use my intermittent downtime
January 22, 2018 4:15 AM   Subscribe

I recently started a new job at an ambulance company. The shifts are variable - some days I’m busy for 12 hours straight, and other days I’ll have a couple hours of downtime. I’m looking for ideas for how to put this time to good use.

As long as my charts are up to date, my managers don’t care how I spend my downtime. I’d like to do something moderately productive at least some of the time (I’ve been enjoying reading books on the Kindle app and expect I’ll continue to do some of that.)

What are your suggestions for easily pick-up-able and put-down-able projects? I’ve considered knitting but I think that I’d lose track of where I was if I got a call in the middle of a row. Similarly, I do some freelance editing on the side, but since both that work and these periods of idelness are intermittent, I’m looking for additional ideas.

Other parameters:
I’ll be doing this thing in an ambulance likely while sitting next to my partner, so something minimally noisy and with few moving parts would be best. I like science, language, music, cooking, and books. I’m not big into visual art of most kinds. I have access to a smartphone and a tablet computer.
posted by coppermoss to Technology (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Is crochet easier than knitting, in terms of put-downableness?
posted by stillmoving at 4:19 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

Two things would be good. 1) Teaching yourself to write with your non dominant hand. It’s a skill that takes huge practice and is useful in unexpected times.2) If at all possible, is there some kind of exercise you could do? Like calf lifts or stretches. While listening to a podcast maybe. But getting some extra exercise is always a good thing.

Hand embroidery can be put down and picked up again very easily. As can letter writing, tweeting, and Words With Frienfs. But really, teach yourself to write cack handed.
posted by taff at 4:44 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]

Learn a bit of a new language with an app like Duolingo.
posted by christinetheslp at 4:45 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]

Seconding christinethesip on language - in addition to Duolingo, I'm a big fan of Anki for spaced-repetition flashcards, which you can use to learn ANYTHING - languages, but also science, geography, history, pub trivia, whatever interests you.

Although you say you're not into visual art, sketching is a great skill to have - it's fun, and it's also often surprisingly useful. A pen, a pencil, and a smallish sketchbook are all you need. You could draw scientific diagrams or mechanical models or whatever.
posted by kristi at 10:37 AM on January 25

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