Are you often in a position where you wish you knew how to make time go faster? The good news is: it’s possible to create that illusion in your brain.
In this guide, we’ll discuss 21 techniques to help you pass time quicker.
In my role as a life coach, I’m often discussuing these sorts of psychological tricks with clients. That’s why I’m excited to write an article on this matter.
Let’s dive in:
What Makes Time Go By Really Fast?
In this guide, we’ll list 21 ideas to help make the illusion of time passing faster. These will be categorised for various scenarios.
Let’s begin with the two most important concepts that all the other ideas are based on.
1. Have Fun
It’s a common phrase that “time flies when you’re having fun”.
This is true because we tend to lose track of time when we’re enjoying ourselves. If anything, we wish for time to move slowly in these moments, so the time to stop having fun never arrives.
If you’re regularly in a position where you’re trying to make time go by quicker, it’s important to ask yourself what big changes you can make to build a more enjoyable life.
We only get one shot at life – and what a waste it would be to spend it wishing time would go faster. Please realize there’s more to it than the same boring regular routine. It might be scary to escape the comfort zone of a safe but mundane life, those who face that fear will usually be rewarded with a far less boring existence.
With that said, it’s difficult to be taking part in objectively enjoyable activities all the time. Sometimes, we are forced into situations where there is nothing available to stimulate us. In these cases, it’s great to develop the skill of creating your own fun from nothing. Keep reading for some ideas about how to do this.
2. Reach Flow State
Flow state is a state of being, characterized by the perception of time passing faster. On top of that, you’ll experience absolute focus, increased stamina and a pleasant sense of peaceful bliss.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a famous book called ‘Flow’, which serves as a step-by-step guide to help you achieve flow more often and with more ease.
According to him, here are some key steps to achieve this state of mind:
- a clear goal for the task at hand;
- a feeling of control over this task;
- an appropriate level of difficulty, not too simple or difficult;
- a way to enjoy the task.
Artists and musicians experience flow when working on their latest masterpiece. Athletes experience it on the field of play. But it’s impossible to reach this state of mind via the gamification of simple everyday tasks too. Look out for examples of such gamification later on in the article.
How To Make Days Go By Faster
There are plenty of situations in life where you can see that better times are on the horizon, but you know these times won’t arrive for a few days, weeks or months.
Sadly, there are also situations where those upcoming days, weeks or months might be painful to get through.
Either way, you might be in a position where you want to make time pass faster for days at a time.
So, let’s explore how you can do that.
3. Take One Day At A Time
If you have a long wait for better times, it can be overwhelming to consider how you’re going to get to the finish line. So, stop thinking like that. Shift your focus on how you can make today as enjoyable/bearable as possible.
The video below has more ideas about why this mindset is helpful and effective. Watching it could be particularly helpful if you’re going through a rough period of your life.
4. Find Gratitude
As the video suggests, there may be some periods in your life where your freedom to do what you want is restricted. Maybe you’re bed-ridden with an injury or illness. Perhaps you have an academic project that’s going to require days of sustained focus.
In such situations, you’ll help time go by faster when you focus on the freedoms you do have. Be thankful for these and indulge in them whenever you can! This will help you enjoy your tougher days and stop time going so slow during them.
5. Start A New Project
Maybe you’ve got a few weeks until your long-distance boyfriend returns to your city, or a couple of months until you start an exciting new job in Hawaii. You’re excited for this new start, and it’s making your existing life move so much slower.
If that’s the case, it’s in your best interests to start a new project in these remaining days of your ‘old life’.
Just because you have a more thrilling lifestyle coming up in the future, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start something to make your life more exciting right now.
Ideally, this new project would tick off all the bullets mentioned above for reaching a state of flow. There are some ideas for projects you can start listed below.
How To Make Time Go Faster At Home
These ideas are for those unable to go outside and enjoy all the wonders the world has to offer. There are plenty of ways to avoid boredom inside your home, so let’s explore some of the popular ones.
6. Read A Great Book
You’ve probably heard someone talk about ‘getting lost’ in a great book before. They’re talking about the sensation of being so immersed in a story that they start losing track of time in the real world. It’s a form of flow state, and can help you kill hours of spare time.
Don’t have a book on you? Well, we now live in an age where you can download an e-book or audio book within seconds using your smartphone.
7. Create Your Next Masterpiece
As previously mentioned, artists of all types are able to reach flow by engaging in their passion during their free time. So, why not try your hand at painting, digital art, flower-arranging, cooking a new recipe or whatever else? Maybe you could write a book, instead of reading one!
8. Learn A Musical Instrument
Practicing a musical instrument is another great way to reach a state of flow. If you have a passion for music, why not make a new hobby out of performing it.
9. Learn A Foreign Language
This is a new skill, which can not only kill time, but can also prove incredibly useful in the future.
10. Make Money Online
If you’re trying to use up time, you may as well make some money while doing so. It has become easier than ever to make money with an online side-hustle. Perhaps you’ll sell your old items on eBay, start a YouTube channel or provide any sort of useful service to customers searching for it online.
Not sure how to make money online? You can take an online course to learn how! There are plenty to choose from, after all.
11. Brain Training Games
There are plenty of smartphone apps, which aim to quiz your brain. While the aim of these apps is supposedly to keep your brain strong and healthy, the truth is: most people use them to speed up time when they’re bored.
12. Call Family and Friends
Hopefully, you’ve got friends or family members who you can talk to for hours. Even if you’re stuck at home, these loved ones are only a phone call away.
How To Make Time Go Faster At Work
Ok, this is the situation where a lot of people are looking to make time fly quicker. If you’re one of them, perhaps it’s worth exploring a game plan to eventually land a more stimulating job. Until then, here are some ideas to speed time up at work.
13. Set Yourself A To-Do List With Deadlines
If you can make yourself engaged with your work, the time will go by faster. So, even if you don’t have a boss inspiring you to work to your fullest, inspire yourself to do so.
Make a challenging to-do list and reward yourself if you tick off every item during your working day. Whether you do so or not, you’ll notice that time passes faster.
14. Gamify Your Work
Even if you’re in a monotonous unskilled job, you can stop yourself from being bored via gamification. Maybe you’ll see how many customers you can try to make smile, or try to break your speed record for completing a specific task. Any game which helps you meet the bullet points for ‘flow’ will help time pass.
15. Stop Looking At The Clock
The more you’re keeping track of how fast time is passing, the slower it seems to pass. If possible, hide the clock on your computer and/or sit so you’re not looking at the clock.
16. Break Time At Work Into Small Time Intervals
Remember how taking things one day at a time can make it seem less overwhelming? Well, in the workplace, it might help you to take it one hour at a time. What can you do to keep yourself stimulated in the next hour?
17. Chat With Customers And Co-Workers
Socialising – even if it’s simple smalltalk – can make the workplace more bearable. Most customers enjoy it too, so don’t be afraid to share a small joke or a passing comment.
How To Make Time Pass Faster In Class
Bored in class? Tired of taking notes on this boring thing that will have no impact on your life? Waiting for the bell to signal the end of the school day? Here are some ways to make the time go by faster.
18. Find A Reason To Want To Succeed
Particularly in school, you’ll sometimes be stuck in lessons that you have no interest in. In such a situation, you probably won’t care about succeeding, because you’ll never chase a career in that subject. This is what makes for a boring class.
However, as we already explored, engagement with a task is what makes time go by quicker. So, it’s in your best interest to find a reason to complete your work as soon as possible. Perhaps it’s just the opportunity to work on a project for a class you’re interested in.
19. Have Fun With Your Friends
Teachers might not thank me for listing this, but it’s true that fun and socialising helps time go by faster. Just try not to disturb the teacher or the rest of the class while you’re doing it.
How To Make Time Go Faster At Night
At night, there are often less options for things to do to make time pass, especially if you have to stay awake until the early hours. You don’t have enough focus or energy to work on a complicated task, yet you still find yourself unable to go to sleep. That’s a frustrating situation. So, let’s take a look at some alternative activities for you.
Meditation is the simple art of focusing on only your breath for a defined passage of time (although there are other techniques). The idea is to stop paying attention to your thoughts. As the minutes tick by, you’ll catch your mind, occupied by other thoughts, wandering away from the present moment. When you do, simply shift your mind back onto your breath.
There are many benefits including increasing presence, increasing productivity and decreasing anxiety. It even supposedly has your blood flowing more efficiently.
But here’s a benefit that isn’t mentioned as often; it decreases the need for constant stimulation when you feel bored.
Avid meditators can be satisfied sitting in a park enjoying the fresh air without anything else to entertain them.
If this idea of a meditation routine excites you, check out my guide on Person Who Thinks All The Time – Ways To Coach Yourself.
21. Music, Videos And Podcasts
If you have an internet connection, you have free access to a whole world of music, videos and podcasts. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can be bored in this day and age when you can sit and watch the rest of any TV series on Netflix for a smeall monthly fee. You Millennials and Gen-Zs don’t know how easy you have it.
How To Make Time Go Faster When Waiting For Something
There are plenty of ideas listed above for how to make time go by faster when you’re waiting for something. Ultimately though, it comes down to making the time before that exciting thing arrives more enjoyable. Stay busy, make use of your time right now and you’ll stop focusing on how slow it appears to be passing. If you don’t like your daily routine, change it up.
How Can I Make 6 Hours Go By Fast?
The advice in this guide is useful whether you’re trying to pass six hours, six minutes, a week and six days or any other passage of time. It doesn’t matter. Try them for yourself and comment below letting me know how much time you were trying to speed up and how it went.
Is it Possible To Speed Up Time?
While it’s not scientifically possible to speed up time, you can speed up the way you perceive time using the ideas listed above in this article. Write a comment below to tell me which of these you’re going to try.
Any Other Questions?
If you have any other questions or your own stories about the most effective way to make time pass, don’t hesitate to write me a comment below.
I will be watching the comments section with excitement – and of course I’ll be happy to offer guidance on this subject if you need it.