Waiting around is a part of life we all have to accept. We've all had to do it at one point or other. Even waiting in line for a coffee for longer than we anticipated can leave us rattled and incensed. And that's understandable.
The human brain needs to be engaged, and there can be nothing worse than having nothing to do for hours on end. However, if come prepare for the worst, waiting needn't ruin your day.
Here are 10 easy ways you can cure boredom in dreaded waiting rooms and queues.
1. Always bring a book with you
If you know you will be waiting for most of the day, we strongly advise you bring a book with you before you leave the house. By anticipating the immense boredom that comes with waiting in uninspired places, you'll be able to get lost in a book for hours.
Depending on how long your wait is, you could even bring two or three if you quickly get bored with your current read.
2. Download your favorite Netflix shows
Netflix shows can be a godsend- especially if you aren't a bookworm. However, most of us use the service to stream episodes, but you can also download entire series so long as you have a reliable wifi connection.
If you make a habit of doing this, you'll never be bored in public again.
3. Carry a portable charger
Portable chargers are god's gift to smartphone addicts. Retailing at around $20 upwards, they are inexpensive and easy to use and can quench boredom when we find ourselves waiting indefinitely.
That said, if you don't have a series of shows or a good playlist already downloaded, you'll probably use up a significant amount of data, so it's a good idea to download your media- otherwise, you'll come out of the waiting room feeling even more resentful.
4. Talk to other people
Breaking news: Human interaction still exists. It may seem daunting talking to a complete stranger, but if you open up, it will probably lead to an exciting and fulfilling conversation.
Jury waiting rooms are great for this. You come across a broad spectrum of society, from bankers and hedge fund bosses to cleaners, and the unemployed, so make the most of the situation. That's what life is all about, after all.
5. Listen to your favorite album
If your favorite artist has recently released their new album on Spotify, or you're simply a massive music fan with a host of albums already on your phone, bide your time by devouring the music.
The lyric website Genuis.com has detailed annotations for most lyrics, which might be interesting if you've picked up on things you otherwise wouldn't have when on the go.
6. Make sure you're wearing comfortable clothing
Comfortable clothing is must in waiting rooms. It can be the difference between catching a much-needed snooze or feeling irritable all day.
If you think you might face delays or know you will be waiting around, come prepared and wear loose-fitted clothing rich in soft fabrics and light materials.
7. Make a to-do list
Life makes us forget things. Work is hectic, and when we get home, we are met with household chores that are so overwhelming we usually retire to the sofa and forget about them. That's why a to-do list is the most productive thing you can do in a waiting room.
All you need is a piece of paper and a pen, and you're good to go. It's equally as annoying as waiting, but you'll feel better for doing it, and at least your brain will be engaged.
8. Write a letter to someone you love
Waiting around gives us time to assess things in life, and more often than not, we will think of someone who means a lot to us. It could be a current partner or spouse, or even an ex you really miss. Whatever it is, let your emotions pour forth as you wax lyrical about what makes them special.
Letters are increasingly becoming outdated, but they hold an emotional weight than an email or card, doesn't and receiving one can be incredibly flattering.
9. Go through your emails
No one likes to go open a deluge of emails from companies they've forgotten to unsubscribe from, so filtering the essential emails from the ones that are merely junk will save you a lot of time next time you open your email box.
You might even stumble across something important you might not have previously noticed from a business client or friend, so it's always useful to sift through your emails every once in a while- even if you're not waiting anywhere.
10. Assess your finances
Another boring facet of life, tax returns, bills and payment renewals can be mind-numbing and tedious, but if you're waiting around all day and haven't anything else to do, why not get the boring stuff out of the way?
It has to be done eventually, and the last place you want to be doing that kind of stuff is in a house full of distractions, so use your boredom constructively and time really will be on your side.