A Procrastinator’s Guide to Time-Wasting

Why write that epic novel, hit screenplay or award-winning poem when you can spend your valuable time in a far more creative and rewarding fashion? After all, you’ve got your whole life to write! The opportunity to daydream, doodle and dilly-dally is here and now!

Here are some time-wasting tips from one of the country’s champion procrastinators (i.e. me).

1) The Collection

Start collecting something – dolls, books, antique clocks, records, gemstones, whatever – and you will never need to worry about wasting time ever again. Hours, days, months will pass as you search, sift and scavenge for your chosen collectable. Arrange them, clean them, catalogue them, and display them. The time-wasting potential is endless!

2) The Kitchen

Have you ever noticed how you suddenly feel hungry when you sit down to write? If you plan your day properly you can ensure as little time as possible is spent at the writing desk. Stop for an early morning snack at 9.30am, a mid-morning tea at 11.00am, and lunch at noon. With another three breaks during the afternoon you should be able to fill out your day nicely.

To make the most of these breaks make sure you choose to eat something that takes a while to prepare. If you put the kettle on, make sure you wait and watch it boil. If you toast something in the grill, make sure you check it every 30 seconds or so. And, of course, clean up afterwards!

3) The Vacuum Cleaner

Some people (i.e. my mother) are able to turn housework into a full time job, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to do the same. Vacuum the entire house daily, iron the bed linen and the tea towels, scrub the bathroom floor on your hands and knees, dust the skirting boards, wash the windows, empty the little tray that collects crumbs underneath the toaster – the house is never really clean!

Extra-special time-wasting tip 1 – Try combining point (1) above with point (3) and you’re onto a real winner. Ornaments, antiques or ceramics might require regular attention, even a daily clean and polish!

4) The Computer

It might only be known to Bill Gates and a couple of his friends, but the real agenda of the computer is not to make life easier for us, but to waste our time. Perhaps the aim was to keep us busy while they make more and more money! Whatever! The serious time-waster is not concerned with conspiracy theories, but with how best to utilize the time-wasting potential of the home pc.

For starters, try buying and updating your peripherals as often as possible. And make sure you have everything – webcam, digital camera, mp3 player, mobile phone. That way you will maximize your installation problems, incompatibility issues, and software meltdowns. Instal lots of complex, RAM-hungry software; download recklessly and fill your hard-drive with junk. Believe me, you will soon be wasting more time than you thought possible.

Extra-special time-wasting tip 2 – Try combining point (1) above with point (4) and you’ve hit the time-wasting jackpot! Draw up an inventory of your collection in Microsoft Excel. Design display labels. Use the Internet to research your interest and expand your collection.

5) The Illness

Feeling tired? Got a headache? A runny nose? It’s hard to perform creatively when you’re not feeling 100%. So don’t bother trying. Curl up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and watch some heart-warming sitcom, or snuggle under the bedcovers in a Codeine-induced haze.

The best thing about this time-wasting alternative is the guilt-free aspect. No one will dare accuse you of being lazy if they learn you’ve been sick! The other bonus is the complete lack of effort involved. Just lie back and watch the hours roll by!

Use these ideas well and you should be able to delay your novel-writing or other creative project indefinitely. I’ve got the feeling you’re already well on the way to becoming a first-rate procrastinator. After all, the fact that you’ve just read this article means you’ve got some time-wasting talent!


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