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5 Time-Killing Ways To Have Fun When Stuck On A Long Bus Ride

5 Time-Killing Ways To Have Fun When Stuck On A Long Bus Ride

It’s a fact of life: everybody has to travel long distances by bus sooner or later. It’s boring. It’s terrible. Sometimes, there’s nothing to talk about.

You’re sitting there, looking at the faces around you… and so many people look so miserable, don’t they?

Whatever the reason is, you’re taking the bus for the long, grueling haul of traveling for countless hours… here are some nifty tricks you can use IMMEDIATELY to make the time pass by.

1. Don’t Forget Your Tech

Some classical items to take along this “wild” journey are, of course, fail-safes to ensure a good time. In fact, I’ll bet you RARELY go anywhere without…

  • An mp3 player
  • Your smartphone
  • Tablet/mini laptop

There is absolutely no reason to go anywhere without these devices. A long time ago (2009) I had to make an eight-hour trek by bus… to New York City.

What nobody told me at the time was that you had to go through endless miles of highway. Nothing but forest after forest and pavement. It was really monotonous.

Luckily, I had an mp3 player (that sadly died halfway to NYC). But listening to music soothed the sheer pain of having to be on that bus (which had no air conditioning, by the way, in the middle of June).

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These days, however, you can play virtually anything: videos, podcasts, and the like. Maybe even get around to reading that ebook you always put off. (I have at least 76 downloaded PDFs that haven’t been cracked past the third page.)

2. Unplug and Tune In

But tech can only get you so far. It’s no surprise that we live in the age of information. Life seems like a rat race, and we rarely have the time to settle down and actually enjoy the serene art of doing nothing.

There is some serious Zen in sitting back and relaxing. While you’re on this long charter bus ride, there’s simply nothing you have to do but sit back and relish in the journey.

(This works even better if you use your media device to play some relaxing sounds – waterfalls, rolling water, crickets, a jacuzzi softly humming, etc. There are even 6-hour binaural soundtracks specifically designed to calm your mind down. They’re really worth checking out – I listen to these at least 30 minutes a day when I can sneak in some book-reading time.)

3. Stretch Those Limbs

Many busses have layovers. Sometimes you wait 15 minutes, 45, or up to an hour. (My journey to NYC took a detour to Virginia. In this glorious state, we had a two-hour layover.)

All that sitting can play havoc on your legs and blood circulation.

This is why layovers and breaks are the perfect time to catch up on some light stretches and exercises. It’s a fact that many of us spend too much time sitting on our butts, anyway. We could all benefit from a healthier lifestyle, right?

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Something as simple as static lunges gives your legs the needed stretch they need.

If you’re more inclined, even the power of push-ups benefit you greatly. And the best part? These can be performed literally anywhere.

One quick tip I do daily to get my heart rate up and stay healthy is a bout of jumping jacks. The important part is to boost your heart rate and get your blood pumping. This keeps you looking young and in charge of your life.

(If you’re shy like I am, all of these exercise hacks can be done in a public restroom. It might be stinky, yes… but at least no one will see you.)

The sweet deal with all these quickies are the fact that you don’t have to break a sweat!

4. Get The Party Started

If you’re traveling with a party of two or more people and looking for some good-natured human interaction and socialisation… playing games with people go good together like peanut butter and bread.

So, this is a perfect time to break out the cards! (Especially handy if there’s a table in between your party.)

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The cream of the crop for my friends is to go through several rounds of Cards Against Humanity. You absolutely CANNOT go wrong with playing this classic game. It’s sure to help you pass the time (in the best way possible).

Another incredibly fun game to play with people is “Why? Because.” In case you don’t know the game, don’t worry – it COULDN’T be easier.

All the game involves is answering someone’s question.

Such as… “Why are we on this bus?”

Then they fold the paper over (so the question is hidden), and hand the paper to the person next to them. That person then answers the question starting with “because.” So… “Because elephants are huge” or “Because Stephen Hawking is awesome.”

The randomness of Q&As have the potential for ensuing hilarity, depending on the party you’re with. It’s a seriously fun game that my old lady and I play with her siblings every holiday. It’s THAT addictive, and certain to shave some hours off the long bus ride.

5. Jot, Jot, Jot

This one should be a no-brainer: going “old-school” with a notebook and pen. There is absolutely NO WAY to go wrong with scribbling down your thoughts, scheduling your future, or brainstorming an idea or two of taking over the world.

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Since I’m a writer by obsession (having written for 10+ years), scribbling down my thoughts, ideas, and unloading my “future’s blueprints” in a notebook is like breathing air. When I was traveling for eight hours to NYC, a notebook saved my life.

Plus, the notes and observations I “stalked” from that wonderful journey provided some rich imagery that made my later poems much more vivid, real, and engaging. The thrill of being somewhere new, no matter where it is, is what most artists strive for. To be able to capture that “essence of living,” no matter the circumstance, is why most artists breathe.

Even if you aren’t artistically inclined, handwriting can be an intimate distraction from the flurry of using your fingers to type on your keyboards and Smartphones. You can use it to plan out your day, your week, or write first drafts for planned emails.

And, if you happen to be traveling with a party, you can’t go wrong with Tic-Tac-Toe or any other classic “writing” games we played as kids.

(You aren’t going anywhere, so why not?)

Conclusion

Passing the time on long charter bus rides is sometimes so simple, all you need is an active imagination and a willingness to “get back to your roots.” Think about it: what were you doing before technology? —When life was simpler, and time passed by like a speeding fly.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Maya Levine

Passionate Writer & Researcher

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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