Often, practice is seen as something for which a certain amount of dedicated time has to be set aside. While there certainly are these kinds of practice, in fact everything can be seen as practice:
Doing the dishes: Instead of being annoyed by the chore, I can practice focusing on it completely, not thinking about anything else while doing it, giving it my full attention.
Being outside in the winter freezing: I can practice enduring the cold. The modern world puts a lot of effort into making things ever more comfortable for us. This can often make the current moment more pleasant for me (by offering an elevator, for instance, so that I do not have to climb the stairs), but eventually weakens me.
Being in a bad mood: I can practice not talking myself into it ever more and identifying with my negative thoughts. Instead, I can tell myself that I will soon feel better again. As the adage says: “This too shall pass” (which qualifies as a great mantra which can be used in a variety of unpleasant situations).
Not wanting to do some chore: I can practice doing it anyway and seeing the beauty in having summoned up the discipline to do it.
Being bored: I can practice being content with just being. The easier it is to find distractions in the modern world, the less we are able to cope with not being distracted. I can see it as an opportunity to calm down my overstrung senses. As Blaise Pascal wrote in his Pensées: “All of men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”
Having dinner alone: I can practice not taking out my smartphone because I cannot stand just eating and doing nothing else. Maybe I even consider it ineffective to not do anything in parallel. Instead, I can just eat my meal and enjoy it.
Waiting for someone: I can practice focusing on my breath, exhaling until my lungs are completely empty before inhaling deeply again.
Being unhappy with the weather (or anything): I can practice not being annoyed about the “bad” situation. Instead, I can practice to see it as what it is and rephrase it accordingly in my mind (e.g. “rainy weather” instead of “bad weather”, “stressed colleague” instead of “idiot” etc.).
Doing something and feeling the urge to do something different immediately (“attention deficit”): I can practice to not react and give in to the urge and instead to conciously refocus on what I am currently doing, finishing it first before beginning with something new. As Zen master Shunryu Suzuki put it: “When you do something you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”
Each time I catch myself waiting for the time to pass until something more interesting happens, I can think about what I can practice right now. Which ways to practice will I be able to find? Every moment can be turned into a practice.