Long Lines are for Suckers


[Blog Post #17 of 21]

We derive security and a feeling of belonging when we’re with other people.

If I’m walking alone in a public space, it feels off. Am I lost? Is danger lurking in the shadows ahead?

But when I’m near others, I feel safe.

However, this predisposition comes at a cost. We can waste a lot of time by always choosing to be in the crowd instead of going a different route.

Last Thursday at Newark International Airport I was getting in line for security and there were two options. One line wasn’t moving and the other line only had a few people and was moving quickly.

There wasn’t a sign telling me where to go and there weren't any TSA workers nearby.

Without thinking, I approaching the slow, packed line. The guy behind me said to take the short line and I took his advice. It saved me at least 30 minutes.

On the airport shuttle bus to the hotel, the conference coordinator told everyone to 1) sign in for the conference, 2) go to the hotel registration desk, and 3) eat lunch.

I saw long lines so I went right to lunch. No wait.

After lunch, no lines at either the conference sign in or hotel registration.

Throughout the 2-day conference I found much shorter lines for the food stations.

Lesson learned... I need to question my instinct to follow the herd and see if there’s a better, quicker, option.

There usually is.


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