How To Be Productive When You Get Flight Delays

How To Be Productive When You Get Flight Delays
Carly Jacobs

I don’t mind travelling, even if it’s for work. I love airports because the people watching is spectacular. I don’t even mind flight delays because I seem to have weird clothes shopping luck that blesses me whenever I walk into an airport. I can shop for hours at a mall and find nothing but then I’ll walk into the Country Road at Sydney airport and score the dress of my dreams for under 100 bucks. It’s rad.

After about a decade of frequent airport visits, I have nailed the productivity aspect of it. I’ve managed to squeeze a whole work day into a 3-hour flight delay. There’s something about the buzz of the airport and the time constraint that just makes me go full ninja on that situation. If flight delays make you super angry (as they make most people), here are a few ways you can productively pass that time.

flight delays

1. Read a book 

I constantly hear people say they don’t have time to read and it breaks my heart. Solution? Carry a book with you everywhere you go. That way when your flight is delayed or you’re waiting for someone to pick you up from the airport, you can take 20 minutes to read. What an amazing gift right? Always make sure you have a book on the go for moments like this. I also fully approve of Kindles and e-readers. You can carry around dozens of books with you and they take up no extra room and most e-reader screens mimic physical book pages so your eyes don’t really know the difference. I still love ‘real’ books but for travel, I’m all about the Kindle. If you’re looking for some awesome books to read here are some rather excellent books to read in 2018 and fiction books to read 2018. Audio books are also great if you want to wander around the airport looking at the shops and getting your steps up.

2. Get some work done

If you’re entrepreneur or you have a side hustle, airport delays are the perfect time to get cracking on work. You could schedule some social media posts or reply to comments. I like to use airport time to do some Instagram participation. I’ll spend 20 minutes liking and commenting on photos because I rarely the get the chance to do it so it’s a nice little treat. I also like to go through the recommended section and follow more people. If I’m stuck at an airport with wifi, I’ll be on Instagram most of that time.

flight delays

3. Call your mum 

I’m pretty shocking at calling people, mainly because I hate talking on the phone. Flight delays are the perfect opportunity to catch up on calls. If I’ve got a few hours, I’ll call my mum, my grandparents and a few mates I haven’t spoken to in ages. It makes the time absolutely FLY by. Plus you get rad brownie points for being an awesome person. Bonza.

4. Get your steps up 

I like to hit my 10k steps every day but if I’m travelling for a whole day, that’s not going to happen. If I have a 45-minute delay, I’ll pop on a podcast and walk around the airport. I pretty much only ever travel with a backpack so I strap that on (no it’s not stylish but I plan to still be walking when I’m 90, hence the backpack) and walk laps around the airport. Being idle during wait time makes me so angry, it’s best to just make the most of it and sneak in a cheeky airport workout.

flight delays

5. Have a snooze 

Find a spot on the floor or a row of chairs if you can find a spare spot and tuck yourself up for a little nap. I do this frequently – it refreshes me if I had to get up too early. It’s also a great way to catch up on sleep you may have missed. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the old nap but I reckon you should get into it. Even if you just lie down quietly for 20 minutes without sleeping. Never underestimate the power of rest.

6. Shop 

Airport shops are great. I almost always find an amazing dress at an airport shop or a book I’ve always wanted to read. The newsagents at airports are always spectacular too. They have pretty much every magazine you could ever want. If I’m cutting down on purchases, I avoid the shops but if I’m a bit flush with cash, I’ll definitely grab a dress and a magazine or two and that will kill an hour or so.

flight delays

7. Clean out your phone 

If you just want to sit quietly and chill out, why not go through your phone and clean it out? Delete old photos, get rid of apps you’re not using anymore, delete old contacts and unsubscribe from emails you don’t read. It’s the perfect time to do this boring task and you have a time limit so just do as much of it as you can.

8. Get a massage 

If you’ve been dashing all over the place in your travels and you’re feeling a bit knotty, an airport massage will totally set you up. They can be expensive but sometimes you can get a 30 min massage for $40 and if it’s going to make you feel amazing and make your flight delay less painful, treat yo’ self.

9. Learn something new 

If you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill, downtime at the airport is an amazing time to give it a go. There’s no people or TV to distract you so you can sit there with your headphones on (please use headphones! The whole airport doesn’t need to hear your hand lettering lesson!) and do a lovely class in something you really want to learn. You could do illustration, hand lettering, crochet, embroidery. Just pick something that’s portable and something you can pack up very quickly. This is the main reason why I crochet – I can just pop it in my bag and grab it when I have a delay. I made a full eco bag last time I had an airport delay. Time well spent!

What do you do when you have flight delays? Read? Shop? Stare angrily at the flight information board?

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