Stare into space.

spaceIt may not be elegant or innovative, but it works. Zoning out has been a favorite activity among time wasters for centuries. Staring into space is one of my favorite pastimes, because it’s really the stripped-down, bare-bones essence of wasting time.

For the uninitiated, I will break down a typical space-stare. Feel free to follow along at home.

First, you need to be involved in some activity. (Not necessarily a particularly active activity mind you, but something. Otherwise you’re probably already staring into space.)

Secondly, stop that activity. This can either be a sudden, dramatic stop (which may cause people around you some concern), or the more traditional petering-out stop, where you become distracted and slow down. Kind of trailing off, until you’ve stopped completely.

Now, comes the personal part. I like to unfocus my eyes by staring at a point about 3 feet in front of me and, and tilt my head up and to the left slightly. Others I’ve spoken to prefer to look down and to the right, or pick a random insignificant point across the room. The main part remains the same, though. Look at something (either real or imaginary), and don’t move. The details are a matter of personal preference, although slightly opening your mouth seems to improve results across the board.

Lastly, hold it. For maximum efficiency, you’ll want to hold the pose for anywhere from 3 minutes to 7 weeks.

Congratulations, you’re all set. You may notice that it’s very similar to another tried and true technique — watching TV. While the similarities are undeniable, I’d argue that staring into space is a bit more practical. One of the best features of space-staring is its portability. You don’t need any tools, or special skills to accomplish it, and you can use it any time and anywhere. Try it interspersed throughout your daily activities to get more time out of them.

Now go out there and try out your new trick. Which reminds me… uh … … …

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