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10 Creative Ways to Kill Boredom on Public Transport

10 Creative Ways to Kill Boredom on Public Transport

We’ve all heard horror stories about the tedious boredom involved with commuting via public transportation. Whether if it’s a 2 hour bus ride or 20 minutes on the subway there is absolutely no reason you should be bored during your commute. With a little planning and the right tools you can use this time to make yourself a better person and actually start the day off productive.

1. Learn a New Language

It doesn’t matter what language it is, studies have shown that knowing multiple languages will improve your mental health. This could also become something you can add to your resume if you become fluent enough in the language. While there are a lot of free options out there that you can use on your commute, there is also some very thorough paid software available. You can find the reviews of them all here.

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2. Break Out the Old Game Boy

While there are plenty of emulators and new technology that put the Game Boy’s graphics to shame, there’s just something nostalgic about getting your hands on one. Using the Game Boy during your commute will decrease the amount of battery you’re draining on your phone, which you will likely need during the work day. As a bonus, if you’re riding with a friend there are several games you can play together – most notably a Tetris challenge to see who can clear 30 lines the fastest. The rules to Battle Tetris can be found here.

3. Plan Out Weekly Menus

Your commute is the perfect time to plan out your weekly menus or the types of food that you want to cook. It’s also a great time to learn new cooking techniques. Research and create a list of your favorite food blogs or Youtube channels and visit them daily. Cooking is a skill that doesn’t come naturally but it can be learned. Just because you’ve been known to burn the pizza rolls doesn’t mean you can’t become a world class cook for your friends.

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4. Learn a Programming Language

You might need your laptop for this one, but it’s a skill that could be invaluable to your career. There are also several options for free that can help you learn the skill. You don’t have to possess a beautiful mind to write code, you just need a drive and the will to do it. Here are some great resources to get started.

5. Check Out Some Lectures

There are plenty of lectures online for free that could spark your interests. You could also discover new interests that you never thought you had. From astronomy, to biology, there are thousands of free courses out there waiting for you.

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6. Read a Book

A real book with pages and all. Imagine that?! In a world of iPads and Kindles, people often forget the feel of handling and flipping the pages on a physical book. If this becomes habit it will also give you a good reason to visit the library more frequently or stroll the isles of your local bookstore – something you can’t do by just clicking “Buy It Now”.

7. Learn to Knit

You can knit really anything you want while riding the bus or train. It is a nice hobby that will give you a great gift at the end. You can find tons of free knitting patterns on Pinterest.

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8. Create Your To-Do List

Morning is the perfect time to create your to-do list for the day. Not only does creating a to-do list keep you focused during the day, it also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you complete that last task. Apps such as Wunderlist and Evernote will allow you to create your lists and sync them with the rest of your devices throughout the day.

9. Learn to Conquer the Rubix Cube

We’ve all had one and, more than likely, we all put it to the side after realizing we would never solve it. Well, your commute is the perfect time to practice how to solve it. After you learn to solve it, you can use your new skill to impress friends or even start competing in Rubix Cube time trials. Here is an article detailing the easiest way to solve the Rubix Cube.

10. Find New Music to Follow

It can be a new Pandora station or Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” but new music is something that will never bore you. There are countless artists you can discover and follow just by listening to one new song and then researching the artist. You’ll also have something to talk about in the future, especially if you have other friends that are deeply involved in the music scene.

Featured photo credit: Gameboy Color / Wen Zeng via flickr.com

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Colby Almond

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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