Tempting it is to do things which helps you pass the time. When you stranded in a desert with nothing, then the time will seem to not pass.
Compare that to watching Netflix for hours and you don’t even know where your day went by.
But can you do better – by making a shift on what you do, given an opportunity. Let’s find out…
Your Friend Is Late
Meeting your friend is one of the highlights of the weekend. You talk about the good things that happened, seek advice and go crazy.
Sometimes you cherish the old memories and sometimes create new ones. It doesn’t matter what you have planned, anything can become an agenda. Sudden plans are the thrills of going out with your best buddy.
There is no nitpicking, both of you understand each other. And make up for each other’s shortcomings.
Suddenly the conversation has shifted from Pokemon, power rangers to marriage and kids. Thus there is this realization that you have crossed 25 age number. And the possibility of marrying and forming a family isn’t distant. It is weird to you – because you consider yourself a kid. Being an adult feels scary, but you are an adult now, so it is better to accept it sooner.
The place to meet is the same, so you reach 5 minutes early. And wait. And keep on waiting because your friend is nowhere to be seen…
Mobile Phone And Game
So you take out your mobile phone – the mega distraction device. Although you can do so much with a phone and internet connection, you choose to watch cat videos, mindlessly surf Facebook and not do anything productive.
Nothing wrong in that, just you need to be aware of your choices. Don’t give excuses that you didn’t have time because that ain’t true.
You just used it to entertain yourself. And get lost in the fun part of the internet. The other part has all the resources for you to accomplish anything – the only thing lacking is your will.
So after checking in a few useless notifications, you started playing a game. And after waiting for 25 minutes, your friend is nowhere to be seen.
Frustrated you thought of calling your friend. But you stopped yourself. Because it will show that you are impatient. Which you are but you want to send a message that you can tolerate. This is in line with the way social media works. In reality, you are a different person and your projection in social media is completely opposite. To attract your followers and feel good about yourself.
But you didn’t want to keep playing the game. So what else can you do to pass the time until your friend comes?
The Alternative To Observe
It might seem like a surprise but when you were growing up – there was no phone or internet. So observing nature and doing creative fun things were the norm. Although the name is a smartphone, it is a phone designed to be used by average people.
A phone designed for smart people will be complicated to use. And not many people could use them.
So you shun your phone and simply stand there observing around – you see a tea seller, kids playing and all the noises in the air.
It seemed like magic because all of this you were able to observe just because you decided to focus on surroundings and not deep into your phone.
Yes, your phone is a powerful device and can be used to do more productive things. But if you are using it to pass time, try observing nature, around and thinking of something while doing nothing. It forces you to come up with a thought process, new ideas and see the world in a better new way.
Training Mind To Learn From It
But what’s the use? Observing nature sounds good. But is it really something good which can be translated into something productive.
The short answer is YES.
All you have to do is develop a system and force yourself with the process. Maybe lower your standard to produce the output.
Because once you do this consistently, you get better and each day brings in a new perspective. And your overall game goes up.
James Altucher made it famous for noting 10 things every day. For example, you may write a note – 10 things to play if you are a kid, 10 different types of customers and so on. One possible explanation is to write a new blog post if you are a writer.
Another is to have clarity and see everything with a lens. Because as you progress, you will have a more nuanced list. And it will reflect in your work, business and life in general.
You can see your relationship and wonder 10 ways to do better and then you can implement them. The core idea is to keep your brain working by getting bored and forcing yourself to be creative. Because you can – it will be easy at the beginning then it will be difficult. But once you pass that stage, this will become second nature to you and that’s what you need to aim for.
Being Bored Is Better
Of course, entertainment is necessary and the internet has multiplied that opportunity. But if your goal is to mindlessly wander wherever you are at the break then it is a bad decision.
Use it strategically and you can reap rewards. For example, if you are a software person who codes.
Then start a side project to create something. Whenever you come across an opportunity to go on Facebook, use that to write 2 lines of code.
It adds up. Or read an article or watch a tutorial. Every bit counts. If nothing, it will add a better perspective which will be useful in your day job. Observing something when you are boring opens up your neurons to do something to stimuli. And that something is a creative response.
So avoid the phone altogether to focus on the problem which is bugging you. Just think about it.
Breathe, see and think for a moment – doing this while you are waiting for your friend has the ability to upgrade your life by 10X.