The bad news is Time flies, the good news is you are the pilot" - Michael Altshuler ... or How to never Kill your time again ...
Sitting at Vienna’s airport, waiting for my flight transfer I find myself having “time to kill”. First of course I hooked to my phone and the free wireless as a desperate addict. Checked the emails, even though I was perfectly aware there is nothing new there. It is Christmas day after all. Then I obviously checked all other means of communication and social media channels. That was quick! With my fingers of an experienced addict I can do this for less than 4min. So what's next? There are no shops and no bars here. The toilets are not really as glamorous as in some other airports so the option of staring at myself in the mirror went straight out of the window. I have a couple of vending machines and myself...silence.
The Christmassy feeling I had this morning was steadily slipping away through the big glass walls of this place, on the other side of which there was also nothing but a rainy, gloomy day. Not even a hint of festivities. I literally had time to kill and I didn't want to work… it is the start of my holiday too.
When I suddenly realised it and got angry...This was like a deja-vu. It is not something that happens only on Christmas day and only on lonely airports when waiting for a flight transfer is it? How many times have you been waiting for something or someone? How many times you had time on your hands and equipped only with the habitual options you probably just posted a “status” to either complain or “inform” the world of your waiting or may be you didn’t even do that but scrolled up and down your screen? This was time truly killed! I have been a murderer of precious hours of precious days of precious life. No More...
So, determined to take matters in my own hands and to turn “time to kill” into “time to live” as it should be I am sharing the list of things you can do when you feel trapped in a killing time machine ;) Enjoy!
1. Make a “F*ck it list” No, not the one where you list who you want to sleep with before you die. Do the one where you list all the things you would do if you suddenly stop giving a f*. I love the “f*ck it list” as it blends reality with daydream more than any other way of looking at this task. F*ck it and just do it. It has a tremendous positive potential, it will make you smile and it will inspire you with that little extra drop of passion.
2. Mix up your music ... and listen to one song you love followed by one you’ve never listened to before What this does is – it makes you feel a change and enjoy it with the safety net of favourite tunes. Make it a game and go in all directions with the choice of genres and artists. You cannot go wrong with that. Plus you will most certainly find a new gem to add to your collection or share with your friends/ family/ loved ones.
3. Write Shakespeare write... Write a short note to someone or a long letter to say the things you never did. Write a post card, write your own thoughts to yourself, write a song or a poem – it doesn’t need to be professional or even good for that matter. Write on the back of an old receipt left in your pocket. Writing is a form of expressing yourself, of releasing thoughts and an act of always moving forward regardless of whether or not you know the destination of that “forward” point. Writing is also a way of getting clarity, feeling peaceful. It creates the feeling of accomplishment as well.
4. Challenge yourself Challenge yourself by doing one thing completely different than you’d normally do. Depending on the situation and place figure out a way to go out of your comfort zone. We all operate, most of the time, in our comfort zones especially so when we are the “masters” of the situation and we get to choose what to do For example, at the airport I would feel comfortable looking at my phone and it will be a challenge for me to go to someone I don’t know and start a conversation without any specific reason or topic in mind. This will bring me out of my comfort zone, teach me something and it will definitely bring my adrenaline up. If you are at the hospital, waiting on a line for your turn, why not turn on the music of your phone so everyone can hear it and enjoy it? The worst that can happen is for someone to come and tell you to switch it off. But the thrill of doing something that’s not “appropriate” might make it fun.
5. Start using Audiobooks This is the perfect time to not waste time but use it to your advantage and listen to a book. For the same amount of time, listening to a book instead of reading will enable you to cover a lot more material and learn a lot more.
6. Go for a Walk (if the circumstances allow you to) I think going for a walk it a great thing to do even when it’s cold and windy and you really can’t be bothered. Somehow even the worst walks make you feel more…alive. Maybe even more appreciative of the place where you are returning to at the end. Walks give you time to think, to relax a bit and to refresh your body which needs movement of any kind badly.
7. Make eye contact Yes, that’s right – make eye contact with random people. Look at their eyes and then just smile. :) There are a couple of benefits about that – 1) You are not killing time because you are actually connecting with people on a level deeper and better than posting a “status update”. 2) You are increasing your chances of someone smiling back and this is plain wonderful. 3) You are most certainly making someone feel better even if they don’t react at first and need to think about “the freak” that smiled at them for 15min. And the cherry at the top – 4) You are getting better at making eye contact and that’s sometimes all it takes to meet your wife or husband.
8. Contribute …. to Wikipedia Ok, you still can’t keep your hands off your mobile or computer. You are online, clicking around. Stop wasting time and contribute to the world’s largest encyclopaedia and to all those people using it. You and I are using it all the time, there are topics which can definitely use your expertise. Now is the time!
9. Meditate You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. Repeat a word/ phrase of your choice. Don’t obsess about the thoughts that come into your head and just let them go just as they came in. That’s all. A quick 5-10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.
10. And the old and rusty...upps I meant golden. Do your to do lists! I know it’s not sexy, but somehow it brings a sense of satisfaction once done and it gives you direction. Having a plan is the ultimate way of getting what you want in life anyway (whether or not you do the plan at all), so having mini plans for your “to dos” is after all useful and great.
Merry Christmas Everyone! xxx Cherish your time. Don't kill it! xxx