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I spend a non-neglible time in the bathroom, sitting on the pot. It occured to me that I could be using the time better and not let precious productivity time literally go to waste.

So, how do I maximize productivity while in the bathroom, and how can you spend that time in a useful fashion?

share|improve this question – Luc Sep 29 '12 at 21:07

I can think of three choices:

  1. Read (like when people read a magazine in the bathroom or Google puts up their "testing in the toilet" newsletter on the wall of the stall.
  2. Think/relax/take a break - it is possible to be too productive. This is one of the few times nobody is talking you to you. Sometimes if you let your brain relax, ideas will come to you. (I have my ideas while walking and not on the can, but that's just me.)
  3. Try to memorize something - I got this idea from a guy who knows the gallon/liter conversion ratio because it is apparently posted on every urinal so he sees it a lot. I tried putting up a paper in my home bathroom with some items I wanted to memorize. It worked well because I saw it a number of times a day.
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For me, this and the shower is the best place to think. – the_lotus Jul 13 '12 at 19:40
I don't read on the toilet, too short to really get into anything and I don't have any trouble reading from a screen. I usually use the time to think. – Luc Sep 29 '12 at 21:17
@Luc Irrelevant to the question. The OP says he spends "a non-negligible time" there. – Jan Doggen Nov 30 '15 at 14:33

Don't multitask. Do only one thing at a time.

When you take a shit, try to enjoy it, and let your brain wander.

You'll be surprised how much Eureka moments you get on the potty, when you just relax and let it happen.

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+1 for Do only one thing at a time. – Enthusiastic Student Mar 18 '15 at 23:05
  1. Try figure out why you're taking more time than you think you should. Speak to a doctor if you find yourself consistently spending more time than others in the bathroom for some kind of personal health related reason.
  2. A smart phone can be really useful for these breaks, for e.g. read through your todo list for the day to make sure you're on top of everything
  3. Use a flash card program like Anki - it's a non-obvious way to productively use time to reinforce things you're currently studying.

I can't help but say I feel like this might be taking the thought of personal productivity a little too far.

I guess it's a valid question though.

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+1 for #1 (even if the cause is number 2). Your doctor may have advice on changes you could make which could mitigate or even fix this problem. – Scott Wilson Dec 2 '15 at 11:10

I use the time to use my mobile to check my email and all social networking sites like Facebook. Or even checking the news.

That way when I'm back to work, or whatever I'm doing, I know I won't be distracted for a while by an urge to check to see if I'm popular or not ;)

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One thing that you can possibly do is have a to-do lit in your mobile, have a look at it and figure out in what order would you do them, estimate how mush time will they requires and stuff like that.

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I have one suggestion that has greatly helped me in my bathroom routine...

Audiobooks. Usually informative audiobooks (Tipping point, Mastery etc.)

I listen to them while in the shower and all the way through my bathroom routine. I find it lets me stop feeling like I am "wasting" time in the bathroom but it also helps me prepare my brain for the day (when listening to books that make me think).

Then once I am done with my bathroom routine and ready to go to work I then hook the audiobook up to by car's bluetooth and keep the mind running through my morning journey.

I am amazed at how fast this routine lets me finish books as it has become a big part of my routine.

Note: this is not a replacement for reading, I am usually listening to one book and reading another at all times.

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I usually think myself about my next programme or just hung. i stay in Hostel, so its not easy to plan my time in bathroom. i spend as less time as i could.

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When I was wearing a heart rate monitor, my pulse dropped by a large amount when I set on the toilet.

It was the action that I could do with produced the largest drop in heart rate. The effect was much stronger than lying down, starring at the wall and doing nothing.

Evolution seems to have built a relaxation program that automatically starts when one sits on the toilet. To complete your task in the bathroom in the shortest amount of time, you have to relax the muscles in your anus.

If that relaxation program gets disrupted you will need more time in the bathroom. It therefore seems ineffienct to do other tasks while you are in the bathroom.

If you want the process to be more efficient, do progressive muscle relaxation. Use the time on the toilet to relax as deep as possible.

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