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4 Productive Ways to Spend Your Time in Line


With the latest Supreme Court decision, some workers will find themselves standing in more security-screening lines at work, and for longer, and without pay. So, what do you do when you’re stuck waiting to go through a checkpoint?

Anti-Theft Security Screening Checkpoint

(Photo Credit: IAEA Imagebank/Flickr)

Here are a few tips to make the most of your time in security lines:

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1. Prepare for the Screening

There are really simple ways you can plan ahead to help speed up the security-screening process. When you minimize the items that you’re carrying (and wearing), the process can speed up substantially. By planning ahead, and rethinking the angst surrounding your wait time, it may even be a “positive experience,” according to CNN.

2. Network

You may not feel like talking, after a long, exhausting day on the job. It’s one of the most essential methods for advancing your career, but there’s so little time to accomplish it, particularly when you’re working full-time. Networking can be as simple as discussing your work history, and finding out what connections your fellow workers have.

Networks can bring you a whole host of opportunities. 

“These are important technical skill-building and interpersonal skill-building opportunities that have the additional benefit of making networkers’ networks even larger,” writes Shauna C. Bryce at Careerealism.

3. Make Lists

Lists are the first step toward becoming more organized and productive — in work and in life. Even if you’re not getting paid to stand in line, that may be the perfect opportunity for you to reflect over your day and jot down to-do items (for home and work), as well as ideas for how to streamline all those tasks. 

You can also use those standing moments to take your list-making outside of the box. By re-thinking your list contents, and tweaking the linear orientation of your lists, you can put the time of standing in line to productive use. 

4. Go Digital

Depending on whether you’re allowed to have a cellphone (or other digital device) with you on the job, you may find that you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips. You can listen to music or audiobooks, watch videos, play games, or even apply for a job.

Yes, the prospect of not getting paid for on-the-job activities (like standing in line) is disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. If you follow these tips, the time may pass more quickly.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you forced to stand in a security-screening line after work? How do you spend the time? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Esther Lombardi
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