Anything that hampers slows progress or makes it difficult to do something. You might think that the presence of your parents hampers your ability to look cool.
The verb hamper is for those times when normal progress is slow but not shut down completely. Hamper often describes travel during bad weather, like icy conditions that could hamper holiday travel. Hamper means "slow going." You may have heard of noun form of hamper, a container for holding dirty laundry: If your hamper is full, the need to do laundry could hamper your plans of going out and having fun.