12 Most Important Ways To Waste Your Time

12 Most Important Ways To Waste Your Time

If you’re like most people, you created a list of resolutions for this year: lose weight, work out, eat healthier, stop smoking. All good, important things to do.

Which most people don’t do. Not that they don’t have the best of intentions, but sometimes it’s just easier to eat a spoonful of Nutella for dinner than make a salad (okay, it’s always easier).

So… given that making resolutions you won’t keep is incredibly common among humans, let’s review a few more ways to waste your time this year:

1. Watching TV

Listen, I learn more each day from Big Bang Theory than I ever did from my high school geometry teacher. I encourage you to veg out in front of the TV each day, if for no other reason than to learn important crap you’ll never use in real life until you go to a party and play a trivia game and then you win and you’ll thank me.

2. Play video games

We’re probably one of the few homes in the U.S. that doesn’t have some sort of game console. But I’ve given up controlling my kids playing age-appropriate video games because they have iPads and to be honest, I’m pretty sure my seven-year-old is learning more spelling words in Scribblenauts than he does at school.

3. Organizing

It’s like making resolutions: good for a week or so and then it’s downhill from there. I’m one of those weird folks who loves to organize, so this one really bugs me — but as I approach fifty, I’ve realized there is just too much detritus in life to worry about keeping it all at bay. Let it snow. (Of course, I’ll still do it anyway)

4. Outlining

I’m a writer, and most all of my writing classes have insisted writers outline our works, even teaching us fancy flow charts and complicated processes with arrows and such. As I’ve just released my third book (not humor this time), I’ve realized that doesn’t work. For me. Maybe I pre-write in my head (as most writers do), but all that outlining takes away from the spontaneity of letting the words flow. Besides, it’s kinda nerdy. But if it works for you, I get that. Can I call you Sheldon, though?

5. Commuting

Isn’t it fun? Being stuck in traffic every single day for the rest of your life? Actually, I don’t do it anymore so you can hate on me now. But I did, for over fifteen years — as a pharma rep and trainer, I was on the road constantly. I don’t miss it. But if you do it, here’s my advice: crank the tunes. I’m convinced I became a fan of sardonic musical artist Poe during my commutes.

6. Waiting in lines

Humans are an impatient race. We want what we want and we want it now. Waiting builds character or some such B.S., right? I say, buy yourself a smartphone and read books in line. That’s what I do.

7. Social media

I personally don’t feel social is a waste of time for anyone who wants to sell a product or service, create an online presence, or improve their Google ranking. Social is my other business (besides writing books), so for me it’s essential. That said, I schedule in quite a bit as well as interacting live. If you find yourself constantly checking to see if anyone has retweeted or shared your latest insanely brilliant quip, it’s time for a little break. Or forget it — you know you’re gonna check anyway.

8. Grammar police

People are going to mispell a lot and end their sentences with a preposition… kinda like Yoda does. Is it your job to correct them? No, but you’ll do it anyway because it drives you insane.

9. Spam your own links

Go ahead — knock yourself out! People will ignore and unfollow you, as well as not buy your “whatever,” but it’s worth the effort to annoy the heck out of them.

10. Discuss politics or religion on social media

While there cannot be two more polarizing topics, and I personally don’t engage in them, plenty of people do. Why not? The worst that can happen is you’ll lose followers, waste your time and patience, and risk losing your temper and freaking out on total strangers. A win/win, right?

11. Argue about the merits of self-publishing

For many, self-publishing has become a lifeline and has lost its initial stigma that all self-published books are terrible. But don’t give in: be like the traditionalists who insist it’s the easy way out, that self-published authors make no money and that their books are creating a dismal future for readers. And by all means, don’t read or support any self-published authors. That would be terrible.

12. Read

The most colossal waste of time ever, right? Hours spent sitting and doing nothing but learning and using your brain. Why, God, why?

I could write more, but I’ll probably just be wasting your time.

Featured image courtesy of meddygarnet licensed via Creative Commons.

Rachel Thompson

http://badredheadmedia.com/

Rachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, bitrebels.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Rachel is the creator and founder of #MondayBlogs and #SexAbuseChat and an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

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18 comments
san ji
san ji

replying all the posts that we get on our blog seem a rt candidate

Leslie
Leslie

Hey I found your post from your tweet.  I loved it.  I was confused for a moment until I realized you have a dry sense of humor...then it all fell into place for me.  Fun read.

jodineibeme
jodineibeme

I just heard a story about some woman that "sleep ate" Nutella, was that you? lol 

Grokdad
Grokdad

I just ran into #11 yesterday. cheesed me off a bit. Someone who'd never read my book implied it was inferior because it was self-published. When I responded, he said I needed to join some writer's groups and hone my craft for a couple of years. Remember, he never read anything I wrote. 

DanielleNGomes
DanielleNGomes

Love this list. Now that know organizing can be considered a waste of time, I may start doing it. 


ryanlwaterman
ryanlwaterman

I am a professional time waster. I do all of these things, often simultaneously. I'm a multitasking time waster. There, I said it. I think that eating really needs to be added to this list though. It's how I spend a whole lot of wasted time. Today after the gym, I came home, watched Gossip Girl, laid on the couch ate pizza and drank wine. Okay, that was actually all time well spent.

SuziShumaker
SuziShumaker

Maybe my adhd is acting up, but I don't follow...some of these seem like real time wasters and other are great use of time (organizing and reading). As far as discussing politics and religion ... that's my current writing project, so I do it. People may love me or hate me, I just want them to buy my book (someday when it finally gets published). 

boxofnuts
boxofnuts

Love the list. Thanks for helping me waste a few minutes. :)

jenjarratt
jenjarratt

Shock! Rachel. Nutella has too much sugar. How about a big spoonful of cashew butter instead?

Thanks for a fun distraction for this morning. I'll go back to my real work now.

RachelintheOC
RachelintheOC

@Leslie ha! thanks. So glad you got the humor in it. :) Thanks for the reply. 

RachelintheOC
RachelintheOC

@Grokdad ignore it. If he had read your book and then offered a critique about what he liked or didn't like, fine. That's a lesson you could grow from. But believe me, I hear this all the time from people who've never read my work. 

Just keep writing, John. The fact that you have published is a huge success. Proud of you! 

RachelintheOC
RachelintheOC

@DanielleNGomes Excellent. It's especially an excellent waste of time if you're married with kids. I don't know why I even bother. xx

RachelintheOC
RachelintheOC

@SuziShumaker It's meant with humor. I'm sorry if that didn't come across clearly. 

As for politics or religion, absolutely -- if that's the focus of your book, service, or work, by all means make those talking points. For other folks, like myself, who write about non-political and non-religious topics, it can be polarizing and lead to flame wars which truly are a waste of time. 

My apologies for not making the humor more clear. 

RachelintheOC
RachelintheOC

@jenjarratt Good lord, don't I know it! I wrote recently (after writing this article) how I've given up Nutella but nobody believe me. Sigh. 

(I like Justin's chocolate almond butter -- no palm oil and way less sugar.) 

Thanks so much for reading, Jen ;) 

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