Passing vs Spending Time

Usually, I am a huge advocate of finding ways to spend time, not pass time. When you are spending time you are looking for meaningful and purposeful ways to use your precious hours. When you are passing time, you’re just looking for ways to fill your day. Spending time leads to productivity or enjoyment. Passing time leads to….minutes ticking by on the clock.

However, during my flight to Florida last week, I realized that there are some situations when you do want to simply “pass time” in an effort to make it go by as fast as possible. Our 5-hour flight in to Orlando was one of those instances.

In this case, I was so excited to touch down at our destination and get out of my airline-seat prison that I was simply looking to pass the time as quickly as possible. (Coach airline travel is never particularly comfortable, and when you’re 6-feet tall it’s especially tight.)

This experience reminded me that finding things to do that pass the time quickly isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips:

 1) Keep it enjoyable

At first I tried to be productive on the plane, but that wasn’t working. The work I needed to do was un-enjoyable and made the time pass ridiculously slowly. If you want to make time pass quickly, do something you enjoy such as reading a book or listening to music. The phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” is cliché for a reason.

 2) Make it interactive

If you can make your enjoyable task interactive, such as doing a puzzle or playing a game, that’s even better. I like to see how quickly I can finish the crossword puzzle in the back of the in-flight magazine. Doing a puzzle like this keeps your brain engaged and makes the minutes fly by.

 3) Don’t look at your watch

If you’re trying to pass time quickly, resist the temptation to look at your watch. Doing so just reminds you how much time you have left to go. I like to just take mine off and put it in my pocket.

What is your favorite way to pass the time quickly? Please share!

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Time Management, Efficiency,

Photo Credit: Salvatore Vuono

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