It’s a new year, which offers you the chance to rededicate yourself to your job, climb a bit higher on the corporate ladder and impress your boss. Or not. If you’re afraid of ladders (and bosses), why not just come up with new ways to waste a bunch of time like you’ve always done? Belinda Wan has 10 ideas on how you can do just that …
So it’s a new year—which means a new start, right? Well, kinda. At the risk of our (hopefully) good reputation, we beg to differ. Yes, a new year is great for resolutions and re-examinations but let’s get real. Sure you want to keep your job and get work done; but c’mon—there is no need to work too hard, now. You wouldn’t want to be that woman working at a McDonald’s in Japan who just dropped dead because she was putting in waaaaay too much overtime, would you?
If you’re saying nay, good! You’re normal. As Ronald Reagan once said: “I know that nobody ever died of hard work, but why take a chance?” From the example cited above we now know that to be untrue, but still, the guy’s right. Why take the chance, indeed? So just read on for our nifty guide to slacking off stylishly at work while looking ever so occupied.
1. Become a chainsmoker
If you’re truly intent on wasting time (and wasting your lungs away too), join the Smokers Convention in your office. It’s a good way to check up on news circulating on the office grapevine, and to bond with your smoking buddies. Plus, you can develop a really convincing cough which you can use to take extra MC thus extending the effects of this one little tip. Cool! It’s a four-in-one bonus! Count on about 5-10 minutes per ciggie break. Multiply that length of time by the number of sticks you want to burn through in a day and … you do the math. We bear no responsibilities for the minutes you’re burning off your life though.
Estimated Time Wasted: 100 Minutes
2. Play online games
Nope, we’re not talking about boring, mundane, in-your-PC-already games like Solitaire, FreeCell and Hearts. We have nothing against these illustrious old-school card games, but how about some online real-time fun? Visitwww.bartbonte.com/mustpopwords and play this weirdly addictive game called Just Pop Words. Here’s how to play: Make as many words as you possibly can from a random assortment of letters. If 50 letters pile up, the game is over. Every time you make a word, the letters make a pleasing “pop” sound (hence the name of the game!) and disappear, giving you an insane adrenaline rush. Let’s just say a small blue penguin will appear to up your word-making ante, but it’s all ridiculously fun. Try it at your peril.
Estimated Time Wasted: 90 Minutes
3. Collect your printouts
Now, surely every office is familiar with this scenario—mounds and piles of uncollected printouts at the printer that drives Management nuts because of all that wasted money (oh, and also because of the baaad things they do to the poor trees and environment too, of course). Now, you can be the shining exception to the rule. Not only do you collect what you print, but you do it sheet by sheet too, hence wasting time in a truly wonderful way. You get a bit of exercise, you aren’t wasting any resources and also, you look like one heck of a busy bee—something that your boss is sure to dig.
Estimated Time Wasted: 30 Minutes
4. Call for meetings
What’s another huge office time-waster besides that modern bane called email? Meetings, of course. They take forever, they resolve nothing and are simply done so that things can actually look like they are being taken into consideration. So if you are the charitable type, don’t just waste time by yourself. Help every one of your colleagues to jump on the Let’s Waste Time Bandwagon by calling for a meeting (or asking your boss to call it—better yet, no work needed on your end) to Solve Something—where everyone will just sit in an air-conditioned room thinking deeply but offering nothing in terms of suggestions. Note: The meeting needs to last at least one hour for it to look truly convincing. If you’re unhappy with the amount of time wasted, simply notify your team of a follow-up to the meeting some weeks later.
Estimated Time Wasted: 60 Minutes
5. Go into sales
If you’re really super serious about your time-wasting mission in life, don’tbecome a writer. Deadlines and slacking just don’t mix (deadlines and vodka go much better together). But, if you become a salesperson, you can always head out on “sales calls” to chat randomly to “potential clients” who are actually your ex-school mates. Or you can go visit that random account that you’re keen to get into your, er, portfolio, because the girl/guy working there is hot. The point is, anything that gets you out of the office is a good thing, because your boss can’t follow you everywhere. [Disclaimer: I-S sales staff completely excluded from above commentary.]
Estimated Time Wasted: 240 Minutes
6. Take public transport
All good employees should not waste company resources. That’s a given. But now, you can cleverly capitalize on that golden rule with regard to your time-wasting strategy. If you have appointments during a working day, take the bus or train. Sure, it will tire you out like hell and make you a sweaty wrinkled mess but you’ll definitely waste many more truckloads of time on buses and trains dodging clumsy compatriots, grumpy aunties and hapless schoolkids en route to your appointment than you would on a 20-minute cab ride where your cabbie starts ranting away at the “gahmen.” Your company will save their dough, you get to waste your time and everyone’s happy. Yay!
Estimated Time Wasted: 45 Minutes
7. Be a social butterfly
Every company needs one—and if you haven’t already got one in your office, why not claim the position for yourself? It’s easy. All you have to be is super chirpy, happy and talkative (triple espressos—with a dash of vodka—help). If your colleague looks depressed, drop by their cubicle for a pep talk; ask where Jane got that new dress from, or compliment Ken’s new haircut. Gel fabulously with everyone (except Upper Management of course) and chat with them whenever you get the slightest chance. A good chat can waste at least 15 minutes, and if you try that with several people every day, you’ll soon be a winner in the time-wasting department. If you’re doing it right, who knows? You may even be Ms. or Mr. Popular!
Estimated time wasted: 75 Minutes
8. Lend a helping hand
This is actually somewhat similar to the point above. But more action-oriented, not talk-oriented. Be super helpful to your colleagues whenever they need help—help them arrange their desk caddies, run errands, figure out how to post videos on Facebook, give them public transport directions, do their shopping, wash their lunch dishes—anything that wastes oodles of time and which prevents you from doing your work (better yet if your errand lies outside the office). You’re helping people, and helping creates a harmonious office environment.
Estimated time wasted: 80 Minutes
9. Spring clean your cubicle
When all else fails, fall back on your trusty cubicle to help you in times of time-wasting need. In your hour of darkness when there’s no one to chat with, no one to help, no meetings to call and no errands to run, spring clean your cubicle. If any member of Management looms up at you with suspicion lurking in their eyes while you’re at it, just say in a Zen-like manner: “Exterior order means internal organization.” We promise they’ll buy it and be eager to back off to avoid the clouds of dust that will no doubt billow up from your seat as you throw out your trash, wipe those shelves, organize those files and tidy up your bric-a-brac.
Estimated time wasted: 120 Minutes
10. Check your work
You may not have thought of it, but checking your work actually wastes bucket-loads of time. Take extra minutes to peruse your work in excruciating detail before you finally deign to give it to your boss. If he gets mad, just say sagely: “Perfection can’t be rushed.” Same thing goes if your boss asks you why you’re late with your work. Would he rather look at a great piece of work that’s been properly checked, or a hastily put-together mess? The caveat is: You’d better be sure all is hunky dory before you hand it in, or your scheme may be uncovered. And who’s got time for all that drama?
Estimated time wasted: 30 Minutes
Total amount of time wasted: 14.5 hours. Hey, you’ve got enough left over to even waste time during your overtime!