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10 Free Ways to Kill Time During a Flight Delay

10 Free Ways to Kill Time During a Flight Delay

The recent polar vortex created quite a few flight delays for winter travelers this year. Unfortunately, delays in the airport are as inevitable as death and taxes. Even when everything’s running on time, you still have to arrive early to ensure you make it through ticketing, security checks, and all that jazz.

You’re stuck in the airport for a sizable amount of time, but there’s no reason that the time you spend waiting must be wasted. Instead of counting down the minutes, try one of these free ways to kill time while waiting for your flight.

Admire the Scenery

No matter the location of your airport, there’s something to see–even if it’s just the sky. You can also people watch, and most public spaces are filled with art. Go explore a little bit and admire the visual stimulation around you. At least, it’s not prison or, worse, a cubicle.

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Practice Origami

Origami Bird Versability Lifehack

    Communication is a lost art. When I was a kid, we spent hours pouring our hearts onto a piece of paper, then hand-crafting it into an intricate or elegant design to pass to a friend or crush. You likely have receipt paper or a dollar bill on you. Look up origami designs and learn to make something creative. You can give your work to any children you see to help brighten their day while they wait.

    Work on Your Budget 

    It’s not technically entertaining, but if you’re sitting around doing nothing, being productive is a better option. Budgeting may be something you loathe, but you’re stuck in the airport and you do need to budget, so double down on the annoyance and kill two birds at once.

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    Learn Foreign Vocabulary

    You’re not the only traveler in the airport. It’s a port for air travelers from all over the world. Because of this, airports cater to people from other cultures. You can learn a lot from reading the signs or eavesdropping on conversations. If you have your phone handy, you can even utilize technology to assist with the translation.

    Make Business Contacts 

    Talk to the people around you. You never know who may be a potential client, boss, or partner. It’s always a good idea to spread your business card and contact info around so people are aware of you. Airports are especially good because your message is carried over long geographic distances. Never pass up an opportunity to self-promote.

    Play a Video Game

    Freemium gaming has achieved almost full penetration into the mobile gaming market. No matter what you’re into, you can likely find a free game on your mobile device or computer that will tickle your fancy. Make sure you’re near an electrical outlet though, so you conserve battery power for the flight, where it may not be readily available.

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    Luggage Cart Races

     If you want to appease your inner child, a luggage cart race is a great way to do it. It helps to have other participants, but even solo it’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying a few laughs.

    Scavenger Hunt

    Make a list of items to search for and go out on a hunt. This is another game that’s more fun to play with a group of people, but it’s also very playable alone. Challenge yourself to find more and more random items.

    Film a Prank Show

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    prank video versability lifehack

      An airport is a great place to pull pranks on people for YouTube videos. Just try to keep them good-natured and family-friendly or you may find yourself in a back room cavity search.

      Write a Journal

      You’re alone with your thoughts, so you may as well write them down. Keeping a journal is a great way to spark creativity, plus it’s nice to go back and read your previous writings.

      Whether it’s a flight delay caused by incremental weather or just the normal routine of waiting in line after line, traveling means spending a lot of stagnant time at the airport. With a little resourcefulness and creativity, it doesn’t have to be wasted time. Occupy your mind with these free ways to kill time in an airport, and ride a high during a routine flight delay.

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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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