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Nine ways to waste time

por Austin Yagan (2021-03-23)

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Banana bread?

Baked. Jisgaws? Completed. Now, says Stuart Heritage, we're taking the art of doing nothing to new heights

Scrolling through Rightmove

If lockdown taught you anything, it's that you dislike your homes.

Maybe your living room is too narrow or the bathroom too poky. And this is why much of your free time is spent endlessly scrolling through property websites. Bonus points if you only look at homes you'll never be able to afford.

Watching bad television

When your time was limited, you could cherry pick from the very best prestige dramas of the past two decades.

This year, your lack of a social life has left you with a gaping hole of time and your TV standards have dropped. Now you spend days watching true crime documentaries about East End gangsters, reality shows on vacuous property barons or daytime TV about traffic police on a stretch of the A376.

Day trading

True story: two members of my family downloaded trading apps to their phone and now spend their days fretting over minuscule fluctuations in the electric vehicle market.

They don't seem to be very good at it because they haven't made any money but the main thing is they now get to lecture me for hours about potentially lucrative innovations in the battery construction industry. So that's something.

Marie Kondo-ing your house...

Now that you've realised you can't afford to move home, your best option is to declutter the one you already have.

And the best way to do this is to follow the Marie Kondo mantra and meticulously rid yourself of any possessions that no longer spark joy. It's a cleansing, healing, spiritual way to re-evaluate your relationship with your surroundings, and you'll end up with a beautifully minimalist home as a result.

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...then visiting charity shops

However, have you SEEN Barnardo's lately?

It turns out that everyone has been Marie Kondo-ing the bejesus out of their homes and the result is loads of incredible bargains. Now you've had that clearout, maybe you've finally got room for a dresser. Or that two-seater sofa. And maybe if you move things around a bit, you can squeeze that upright piano you saw for £65 into the spare bedroom.

Before you know it, your home will be even more cluttered than ever and you'll need to Marie Kondo it again. A perfect circle of time-wasting.

Watching YouTube tutorials

YouTube is an incredible library of human knowledge, and never more than when you fancy a bit of DIY.

Sink blocked? Watch a YouTube tutorial. Wobbly cupboard door? Watch a YouTube tutorial. Decide that you're going to dig up your entire garden and replace it with a more ecologically sound tapestry lawn? Watch a YouTube tutorial. That way, when you inevitably mess it up and need to call in a professional, at least you'll be able to understand some of the terms they use.

Talking to plants

It started awkwardly.

You heard that talking to plants made them grow better, so you started reading to your yucca under quarantine. After that, you told it your daily schedule. Then you really let loose, explaining all your problems in an unbroken stream of thought that lasted into the early hours.
That yucca is your best friend now. You've changed your will so that it gets everything when you die.

Stalking your exes online

Obviously you didn't mean to do this.

But you were on Facebook one day and one of your exes was listed as a friend suggestion. So you innocently clicked on their profile and saw them smiling, content - and married. ‘Good for them', you thought, as you continued to scroll. You laughed at their status updates.
You cried at the picture of them holding their first child. Hours passed. It started to feel like the old times. Then you accidentally clicked ‘like' on a decade-old photo and, long story short, you have to live under an assumed identity now.

Hating the bored

Maybe you're the parent of small children, with a full-time job, and World class University you've spent this year ablaze with unthinkable stress.

You haven't had time to be bored; you're running around tidying up, fielding requests for snacks and trying to maintain some level of literacy while cramming all your professional commitments into sporadic bursts of high-pressured panic. If so, I recommend a simmering resentment for anyone with too much free time.


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