As kids, every school day was spent counting down the hours until the sweet freedom of class dismissal. As an adult, not much changes. It doesn't matter how hardworking you are — when the weekend is so close you can practically taste the rosé, you're always going to be on the lookout for little ways to make time go faster on a Friday. Unfortunately, one of life's greatest ironies is that the more you anticipate the future, the slower time seems to crawl by. Forget watched pots that never boil; idle Friday afternoons never end.
Time is a funny thing, especially when it comes to human perception. Oddly enough, age is a huge factor in how we perceive the clock's ticking. Remember how long the hours seemed to last when you were young? Research has shown that as you get older, you feel like time is ever-accelerating, so things that happened a decade ago — high school graduation or your sister's wedding — seem like they happened just last year.
However, even day-to-day activities can influence time. You've no doubt noticed that boredom slows the seconds down to a snail's pace, while doing something fun causes them to speed up. An afternoon spent in the car stretches on forever, but one spent at a music festival is over before you know it. Unfortunately, most people can't afford to hire their favorite bands to play at their office every Friday, so you'll have to make do with smaller ways to pass the time. Here are 27 ideas.
1. Stop watching the clock. Staring at it isn't going to make the minute hand move any faster.
2. For that matter, take off your watch and put it in your desk.
3. Work on a project you enjoy. According to some psychologists, finding your "flow" — the state where you're completely absorbed in an activity — makes time pass faster.
4. Go for a walk around the building.
5. Take five minutes to meditate and clear your head.
6. Spend a few minutes talking to your favorite coworker.
7. Start an unfamiliar task (preferably work-related, because you're still in the office), so you'll have something to concentrate on.
8. Make a bunch of trips to make coffee. At some point, you'll probably want to switch to decaf.
9. Work on your LinkedIn profile.
10. While you're at it, take a scroll through Instagram or Facebook. How else are you supposed to keep up with the lives of people you haven't seen in five years?
11. Text your friends to see what their plans are tonight.
12. If they don't have anything going on, start rallying the troops for happy hour after work.
13. Check out the new Snapchat filters.
14. Prep your next throwback Thursday post; Instagram lets you save drafts now.
15. Plan your dream vacation. (Pro tip: Start by browsing travel pages on Pinterest.)
16. Start figuring out how you can make the dream vacation reality within the next 12 months. Don't discount the possibility until you've made a budget and looked at the numbers.
17. Plan a more reasonable getaway. A long weekend at the beach with your significant other? Renting a cabin with your lady friends? There are dozens of affordable options.
18. Learn how to read palms or some other party trick. What's the point of the Internet if you're not going to learn from it?
19. Browse the latest pop music videos.
20. Purge your Facebook friends list.
21. Scroll through your favorite subreddits.
22. Answer all the unread emails piling up in your inbox.
23. Practice some office yoga.
24. Work on your resume.
25. Fall down a Wiki-hole. Start with the list of unusual deaths and proceed from there.
26. Check out a new podcast. (Here's a list of feminist ones to begin with.)
27. When all else fails, you can always visit the infinite world of YouTube cat videos. If watching a series of cats getting brain freeze doesn't hold your attention, nothing will.