Activities that involve waiting and short bursts of activity
April 6, 2020 9:52 AM   Subscribe

To help structure my day, I'm looking for activities that involve long waiting times interrupted by short periods of activity. Ideally it would run on a time scale of a day or so (so if I start in the morning and do things intermittently throughout the day, something happens at the end of the day) Bread baking is great for this (knead dough, wait, punch down, wait, etc..) but there is only so much bread one person can eat/freeze and I'm starting to run low on flour. What other things can I do?
posted by btfreek to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I think painting fits in your criteria? For example, if I'm doing watercolour painting, I have to wait for my initial wash to dry before I can add more detailing, otherwise it'll all blur/spread and blend together.
posted by vespertinism at 10:12 AM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Laundry.
posted by bruinfan at 11:03 AM on April 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

Certain slow cooker recipes could work, ones that require some staging. Chop veggies, slice meats, insert; wait; insert other ingredients; wait a couple of hours; serve; wait; put away leftovers.
posted by invincible summer at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2020

That tech support or medical insurance issue you've been putting off addressing, because you know it will involve a phone call with long hold times.
posted by amtho at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2020

Any craft that involves waiting for something to dry or harden might fit your criteria-papier mache, bookbinding, model making, and tie dye/shibori come immediately to mind, but I'm sure there's lots of other stuff in that general category I'm not thinking of.
posted by LadyNibbler at 12:06 PM on April 6, 2020

Gardening is definitely this, although not on a day timescale.
posted by thebots at 1:12 PM on April 6, 2020

Some kind of Marie Kondo purging/organizing. I need to take a break from it every so often when I start going through things.
posted by affectionateborg at 1:34 PM on April 6, 2020

smoking meat can easily take 12+ hours (adding wood/water, checking/adjusting temperature, etc).
brewing 5 gallons of beer takes anywhere from 2-4+ hours depending on method (heat water, mash grain/rest, boil for an hour, cool, cleanup).
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:40 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fermentation or other preservation of food.

Journaling/ large scale writing projects/ nanowrimo style writing. 30 day writing challenges.

Penpaling/letter writing

Intricate skincare routines.

Running. 30 day fitness challenges.

Oil or watercolor painting.

Reading things that are published every 24 hours, but maybe not the 24 hour news cycle if that stresses you out. Webcomics if that is your bag.

30 day sketchbook challenges. (Notice the theme here...)
posted by unstrungharp at 5:32 PM on April 6, 2020

Sprouts need rinsing twice a day. Hideously good for you, hard to have too many.

Dehydrating, though you need a dehydrator.

Making marmalade. Lots of chopping then soaking. Other food preservation techniques are similarly slow going, but it'll depend on where you live as to what food you can access. I've been want to make pickled eggplant for example, but that's not a great suggestion if it's spring where you live.

There's a three day easter cake here, if you can get wheat berries.

Sourdough bread is more fiddly and drawn out than yeasted, and you can spend a week growing the starter.

Some cheeses would fit. Yoghurt also. And buttermilk.

Lasagne with b├ęchamel and good meat sauce is a multi-step process that you could easily stretch to all day. Other recipe suggestions here.
posted by kjs4 at 7:29 PM on April 6, 2020

Spaced repetition is the best way of memorizing pretty much anything. It involves studying something for a little while, then letting a period of time pass before studying it again. With each review, you increase the time before the next session.

A good flashcard app will track how long you should wait before studying each individual card. I like either Anki or Brainscape. Brainscape is better-looking and simpler; Anki is more powerful and customizable. With both of them, you can enter in your own subjects to study, or download pre-made flashcards with things like world capitals or foreign language vocabulary.

Other good options include Cleverdeck and Tinycards.
posted by yankeefog at 3:21 AM on April 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

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