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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

It’s About Getting Through It Together: How to Communicate Your Way out of Family Conflicts 5 Time-Killing Ways To Have Fun When Stuck On A Long Bus Ride 3 Simple Ways To Be Successful in Life

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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