Posted in Wasting time on May 8, 2009 by Hepworth

trashSure wasting time is easy, everyone wastes time. For example, you’re doing it right now. But this blog is about something different than casual procrastination. I’m talking about throwing away inordinate amounts of time– hours, days, weeks, and yes if you can handle it, even months– and that, my friends, takes effort.

I took a vow long ago, a lifestyle change if you will, and it’s that dedication that has made me into the truly lazy bum I am today. Now, I am offering this advice to you at no cost, but it won’t be easy. It’s going to take commitment. If you stick with it, and follow my guidelines, I’m sure you’ll soon be achieving nothing at all.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Celebrate anniversaries.

Posted in Wasting time on May 9, 2010 by Hepworth

I can’t think of a better way to do nothing than trying to remember what happened exactly one year ago.

For example, this blog is one year old. So, if you were to give it the traditional gift, it would be paper.

On the day of the year that is special to you, you should try to do nothing new. Just remember what you did last year (or whenever) and think about that. It’s a day of reverence — a day to reflect on the past. In other words, it’s a free pass.

“I should do something?! Are you crazy? Don’t you know what day it is? It’s the anniversary of both the founding of Reno, Nevada and the first publishing of Dianetics! How dare you?”

All of this gives me an idea, and it’s just crazy enough to work! If you can manage to do one very important thing every day for a year, then you can just celebrate 365 anniversaries in a row*, and never do anything ever again. It’s a lot of work to start, but what a pay-off!

* Yes, I know some years have 366, but on Leap Day you could just celebrate the fact that it’s Leap Day.

Internet: flash games

Posted in Internet, Wasting time on April 25, 2010 by Hepworth

We’ve already covered video games as a whole, but I think this deserves its own special post. Some of the best games are the simplest for a number of reasons. At the top of that list of reasons is the fact that it’s right there on your desktop. Right now. I mean, you might as well, right?

It always starts the same way. I’m reading a blog and they mention some stupid little flash game (yes, those are all separate links). Then everything goes black, and I eventually look at the clock only to notice that 4 days have passed. But I beat that game; you can be sure of that, and really, that’s all that matters isn’t it?

If it’s is a level-based game, you know it’s shorter than your standard video game, so you can convince yourself to try to play it through in one sitting. Guess what? It’s not that short. You’ll be sitting there for a while.

Anyway, this post is taking entirely too long to write, as I sift through my old favorite games and try to replay them. I’m even trying to replay the ones I hate. This does not bode well.

P.S. I’d like to thank Woot! for enabling my habit by keeping me informed of the most mindless games.

Become obsessed with something.

Posted in Wasting time on April 19, 2010 by Hepworth

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from watching Hoarders, it’s how awesome it can be to collect stuff. However, this method of time wasting isn’t immediately applicable in everybody’s life. Sure, it would be great if you could pack your house so full of stuff that it becomes difficult to move, sleep, or breathe, but you don’t really need to collect a lot of stuff to waste time. We can use a scaled-back, yet similar, approach.

Just get really interested in certain things. Devote your life to the pursuit of knowing everything there is to know about pudding, for example, or strive to be the first person to watch every, single cat video on YouTube. The idea here is to take up as much mental real estate as possible, in lieu of actual real estate.  Having a hobby is a great way to spend your time, and pushing that interest into the far reaches of obsession is a great way to really waste time, squander resources, and alienate people. And it’s easier to not do anything if nobody wants to hang around you.

Become really interested in certain bands and TV shows so that when they come on, you’ll have to stop doing what you’re doing. So, you can gr… OH! My show’s on! See ya.

Watch the Travel Channel.

Posted in procrastination, TV, Wasting time on April 10, 2010 by Hepworth

Let me be clear here; there is absolutely no reason you would watch the Travel Channel for fun, and yet it exists. I couldn’t figure it out for a while, then it struck me. This is cable’s gift to time-wasters everywhere.

It’s one of the greatest channels to leave on all day, because it’s 100% mindless viewing. The daytime schedule is made up almost entirely of lists like “10 Best Beaches for Metal Detecting,” “Countdown of the Fattiest Breakfast Sandwiches,” and “23 Castles: Boring and Big.”

They will always feature something about New Orleans (at least once every day). They’re required to by law. And it will be overlaid by a short burst of generic Dixieland music. That isn’t really a time-wasting tip, just an observation.

The channel’s written at a third-grade level, so you don’t have to think too hard, and there’s usually something mentioned that is wrong, or stupid enough to pick a fight about. Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge is covered in 50,000 gallons of paint? That’s enough to cover the White House 16 times! Thanks for putting that into perspective, Travel Channel. That’s useful knowledge.

So next time you flip past “12 Things You Probably Already Knew About Mardi Gras,” go back and take a look. It definitely won’t be worth your while, but maybe it’ll help you procrastinate. And that’s… something. Right?

Just break down and do something.

Posted in Internet, Wasting time on April 3, 2010 by Hepworth

Oh no. It happened. I couldn’t stop it.
I did something.

And what’s worse — I’ve decided to continue doing something once every week. It will still be trivial, no doubt, but it will be something nonetheless, and for that I apologize. I’ve been putting this announcement off for too long, because… well, I like putting things off.

I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused my friends, family, and supporters. I can only hope that you will, in time, come to understand my decision. I feel as though, by venting all my unhealthy urges toward intellectual mobility once a week, I might be able to better concentrate on my inactivity in the remaining time each week. I understand that I am somewhat of a role model to fat little lazy kids everywhere, and I want to stress that this slightly productive path is not the route for everyone. To the children I say, “Don’t give into temptation. Stay strong, stay true, and follow your dreams by sleeping in.

There are those who will see this stumble as an opportunity to impugn the entire sloth movement (or anti-movement, as it were). They will point their fingers at my example and claim that the sedentary lifestyle cannot work. They will laugh their smug, ambitious laugh and go back to running their corporations and snowboarding and whatnot. I remind them that I am only one man, and while I may have fallen, the weekwasters of the world are numerous.

In the meantime, check out Something a week. If nothing else, it’s another blog to add to your collection, and it can help push back that looming deadline by a few seconds.

I plan to continue this blog, but I need your help. I’ve clearly begun to run low on time-wasting tips, as evidenced by my fall from grace, and I don’t want the same to happen to the scores of people who depend on this blog for procrastination tips. So, send in your weekwasting techniques. I don’t care how trivial they are. What do you do, when you’re not doing anything?

Spell words out.

Posted in Wasting time on March 27, 2010 by Hepworth

Wow, that sure was a long week. It almost seems like there were two weekends in there.
…Almost. Well, let’s get to it.

This week’s tip comes straight out of The High School Handbook for Padding Out Term Papers. There, along with handy tips like increasing your font size and margins, is a valuable tip that can be used in everyday life as well. Don’t abbreviate. This rings true for every kid who ever wrote out “United States of America” twenty times in one history paper to try to stretch it to four pages. Actually, I suppose I should say “Do not abbreviate, ” because contractions can be just as bad.

You might say, “What’s the big deal?” and I would reply “What is the big deal?” We’re trying to waste time here, people. Every second counts, and you should not be haphazardly conserving time with your accidental time-saving devices. Just try to get into the habit of spelling everything out, and you will find that your time melts away.

Check out how this typical Instant Message conversation can be lengthened by following this simple rule.

What is up, Jonathan?

Oh, hello Samuel. I am not doing much. I am just surfing various weblogs on the World Wide Web.

That is cool. I am watching a football game on television.

Who is playing?

Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.

My wireless internet connection is messing up, can you call me on my cellular telephone?

Ola Kala. I just need to run down to the Automated Teller Machine machine.

Oh my god! What the fuck? Barbecue.  Et cetera.

You are making me laugh out loud!

So… natural.

Leave things behind

Posted in Wasting time on March 13, 2010 by Hepworth

Here’s a quick and easy tip for this weekend.

If you’re going somewhere, just leave something when you get there. This is especially helpful if you walk everywhere.

After you leave something and are coming home, try not to remember it any sooner than halfway home. If you remember earlier than that, you won’t have the opportunity to stress out about whether to go back, or just try to get by without it, and that little dilemma is half the fun*. The other half of the fun, of course, is walking back to get whatever it is. Weeee!

So what should you leave behind? Oh, anything you can think of: keys, your phone, books, Kirk Cameron**, your wallet.

*Not to be confused with “half the battle,” which is “knowing.”
**Actually, don’t leave Kirk. You probably won’t want to go back.

Compound procrastination

Posted in procrastination, Wasting time on March 6, 2010 by Hepworth

This is a trick for our advanced students. I warn you, what I’m about to teach you should not be undertaken lightly, so proceed with caution.

If regular procrastination is losing its kick, I’m here to tell you that you can actually procrastinate while you procrastinate. It’s a neat technique I call compound procrastination and I try to use it whenever possible. It’ll really get your time-wasting on the fast track. Here’s a few examples of compound procrastination in action:

Say you have to do something, but you’d much rather be watching a movie. So go ahead and get a movie ready. After you put the DVD in the player, and sit down on the couch, but before you switch the TV to the DVD input, think about what you could be missing on TV. Then, it’s just a matter of deciding to flip around the channels to make sure you’re not missing anything good, and voila! You’ve successfully put-off watching your movie (which itself is just you putting-off something else) until after you’ve watched your TV programs. Sweet move, huh?

Let’s try another. You’re trying not to write a blog post. You figure a good way to not do that is to get something to eat. But you kind of want to play a video game, and you may not have time later tonight (Who are we kidding? You’ve got all the time in the world). Fret not! You can do all of these things in layers, built upon each other like a big, lazy onion. Soon enough, you’ll be playing your video games, which is putting-off eating, which in turn is putting-off blog posting, which is just putting-off doing something meaningful with your life! Blammo!

Movies by Mail

Posted in Wasting time on February 27, 2010 by Hepworth

I don’t care what company you use; this service is an absolute necessity in any weekwaster’s life.

Movies through the mail. They send about 6 hours worth of do-nothing directly to your house, and all you have to do is open the door (not even that if you have a mailslot).

Catch up on old movies. Build your references. Have you ever been curious about any movie or TV show ever? Seriously, any movie. Even that one where William Shatner speaks Esperanto. Well now, you’ve prepaid to rent it, so you might as well throw it in the queue. I did.

You can stagger them so that you always have something to watch. I get about three movies at a time, which works well for me, but you can get up to 8 at a time. Glorious.

Then there’s the instant watch option. And that’s really what shines through, here. Thousands of utterly worthless movies available to watch at any point during the day. Any point. Utterly worthless. Stop typing that letter to Grandma; it’s time to watch American Pie 8. Postpone that blog post; watch something inexplicably starring Nicolas Cage as a near-elderly action hero.

The instant movies feature shatters the last barrier between the user and pure, unadulterated sloth — having to get up and actually put the DVD in the tray. I swear, the first helper cyborgs will be used only for answering the door, loading DVDs, and mailing them back. I know I’d buy one.


Posted in Wasting time on February 19, 2010 by Hepworth

How many of you out there iron your clothes? Seriously, what a waste of time.

When was the last time someone said, “Hey buddy, that’s a nicely ironed shirt”? I’ll bet never. Plus, if you’re doing things right, you’re not planning on leaving the house, anyway.

Lets be clear. I’m not suggesting you stop ironing — quite the opposite. Go ahead and iron everything in the house; efficiency is for suckers.