How to Waste Time

OK, I have finally returned from the biggest waste of 3 days in my (admittedly quite short) life, so thought this would be a good time to put up a post about time wasting- I hope you enjoy it.
Wasting time an art form that the world is beginning to embrace, but which many perpetrators require some help with for maximum effectiveness. The problem comes from an inability to fully understand the problem at hand, and a similar inability to strike the fine balance required. The thing is, time wasting is not as simple as not being productive, for this is not necessarily wasteful- a businessman, for instance, who comes home after two weeks’ frantic effort to strike a deal and immediately sits down, exhausted in front of Skyrim, is not wasting time. Rather,, he is recharging, better enabling him to work productively in the future, and for this reason neither sleep or rest can be quantified as wastes of time on their own. A time-waste should ideally be counter-productive, but this is not at all obligatory for a successful operation- the only requirement for a successful time waste in this regard is that the effort, time and headaches inputted should far exceed the value of the output. However, this in and of itself is not quite enough, because just as important as outcome to a time wasting exercise is delivery. A time waste in which the participant fully knows their exercise is pointless is not a true time waste- an exercise like that is either involuntary and enforced, in which case it comes under the realm of punishment and is an entirely different kettle of fish, or is voluntary, in which case it may either be vindictive or therapeutic- both purposeful activities. No, a true waste of time should largely keep the participant of the activity unaware as to the wastefulness of the activity. There are two main ways of achieving this- either the classic ‘reveal’ in which it is suddenly shown that the sixth month project you have been working on is for a now-obsolete piece of equipment the moment you hand the report in, or a sort of gradual deceivement process. This latter option is far more subtle and can be harder to achieve, but requires no effort on the part of the applier of the time waste if properly set up, as it is propagated by the participant. The trick is to get the participant working flat out to get the project done, conducting page after page of research and tests. All these are ostensibly ‘useful’ and ‘valuable information’ that are ‘vital to include in a report to show proper consideration has been given’, and indeed this is basically true. But, in reality, the progress posed by such activities is infinitesimally minute, and by conducting them one is merely adding, almost unnecessarily, to a workload- this can be a particularly successful trick, as it gets a group of people working at full speed through all these pointless tasks, deceiving themselves that they have a purpose, and yet when their time is up a mountain of work still remains. Even better, if this effect has been more ‘suggested’ than made obligatory, one cannot be held accountable for the time wasting of the participants, leaving them feeling worthless and stupid- the ideal goal for all seeking to waste a person’s time. To conclude, therefore a successful time waste should simply have an appallingly bad input-output ratio, which can be achieved either by subsequently revealing the pointlessness of a task (decreasing the output value), or by ensuring the work is all incredibly stressful, tiresome and largely pointless (increasing the input value). So next time you’re wasting someone’s time, just think- why don’t I just shoot myself, and make the world a better place.


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