1. “Morning Routine”
This requires accurate timing on the part of the individual to get to work right on time, and not too early, so as to maximize the amount of actual “on the clock” time being wasted. So come into work, say all your obligatory hello’s, hang up your coat, log-in to your computer, go grab a cup of coffee, come sit back down and get situated because you have an entire day ahead of you with plenty of opportunities to strategically waste time. Total time wasted: 10 minutes
A lot of people prefer to eat breakfast at home before coming to work – this is wrong. The great thing about eating breakfast at work is that you can do it at your desk, so if the boss walks by he or she will see that you’re in the office on time and ready to work, but at this very moment you’re indisposed because you’re eating and any business-related matters he or she wants to speak to you about can wait till you’re finished. I usually stick with something cheap and simple like oatmeal. Go to the supermarket and buy a large container of it that you can keep in one of those random desk drawers that you just stuff papers in, you know the ones, where struggling attorneys hide their bottles of bourbon, because you don’t really have enough important stuff to make use of all those drawers anyway. You can also do the variety pack of cereal or the muffin/bagel/egg sandwich that you purchase on the way to work.
Now, if you’re really lucky, your office will have its own cafeteria, preferably on a different floor. In this case you can come into work, do your “morning routine”, then go to the cafeteria and buy breakfast to bring back to your desk to consume. The benefit of having a cafeteria in your office is the travel time wasted going to and coming from the cafeteria. Depending on where it is relative to your work space this can be as much as 10 minutes of time wasted in one round-trip alone. Nice!!! Total time wasted: 15 minutes (at least)
Drinking close to a gallon of water a day is a great way to stay healthy and waste plenty of time at work. The best way to do this and not be too obvious about it is to buy one of those colorful, screw-top, unbreakable plastic water jugs. I own a red one that stores up to 34 oz of water. This equals four daily trips of: walking to the water cooler, the actual filling of the bottle, the generic office banter/exchanging of pleasantries with co-workers while standing at the cooler, the cursory taking a sip and casually looking around your office while nodding after your jug’s been filled, and, finally, the walk back to your desk/cubicle/office. Doing this 3 or 4 times a day isn’t going to arouse as much suspicion from your manager or supervisor as is getting up every fifteen minutes to go to the cooler and drink several tiny paper cups of water. The point is you want to be seen at your desk, looking diligent, as much as is humanly possible – even if you’re actually just sitting there drinking water. Total time wasted: 10 minutes
Drinking that much water throughout the course of a day really does a number on your bladder. I find that for every 30 oz or so of water I drink I need at least one, sometimes two, trips to the men’s room. This, again, is a great way to waste time, because no one can question where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing – replying, “I’m sorry, I had to use the rest room” ends a boss’s line of questioning IMMEDIATELY. So let’s approximate 5 trips to the rest room per day for the purposes of urinating alone. Now, while in the rest room there are several things you can do to tack on a few precious seconds to your strategic time-wasting – these things include adjusting your necktie, fixing your hair, re-tucking-in your shirt, etc. These are all great little tricks that, when combined, waste up to an extra 5 minutes of your workday and don’t look at all conspicuous to anyone else who may see you doing them in the rest room. What other tricks can you think of?! Total time wasted: 15 minutes
Lunch should be at least an hour and a half – no exceptions. The trick to getting more than an hour out of your lunch “hour” is to leave for lunch a different time everyday, but always be sure to leave sometime during “lunchtime” and preferably right after you see your boss or one of your superiors leave to go get their lunch. It’s a really simple strategy – say you want to get lunch at 12:30 pm today because you know your manager has a meeting at noon that will probably last about 2 hours. In this case you leave for lunch at 12:15 pm and return a little after 2 pm. If anyone asks any questions you tell them that you left for lunch at 1 pm and no one’s the wiser, as long as you don’t have any snitches in your office that are looking to try and get you in trouble because they know you don’t do anything at work all day. If this is your situation then that’s unfortunate and you’re going to have to be extra careful in your comings and goings. But, a great way to avoid this problem is to leave to get lunch a little later than everyone else, but still during the designated “lunch hour”. I find in my office most people leave to get themselves lunch around noon, so I usually leave around 12:30 pm when most people are still out and I have less chance of being spotted. Total time wasted: 1 hour and 30 minutes (at least)
6. The Half Hour Before and After Lunch
When I said lunch should be over an hour I specifically meant that one should be missing from the office building/surrounding premises for that time interval. There is, of course, the downtime before and after lunch that an expert time-wasting employee can take advantage of, if they’re smart.
The half hour before you leave to go to lunch is probably the most useless stretch of time in the entire workday. No one, not even the people that actually like their jobs, get anything done during this period of time. I use this time to do my online banking and other internet-related things of that nature. The great thing about online banking is all the numbers and “stuff” on the screen look like something you might be working on to the untrained eye when, in reality, we know it’s not, but it just works to your advantage that most managers and supervisors are past their prime and don’t really grasp things like “personal computers” as well as you and your yuppie friends do.
Now, the half hour after lunch can be used for running errands like going to the post office and mailing birthday cards, that you got free postage for by flirting with the gay guy in the mailroom, or picking up your dry cleaning or whatever else you might need to get done that day. Here’s how you accomplish these tasks without getting in trouble – after you’ve finished your lunch come back to your desk and get yourself re-situated. You can do things like waking your computer up or stacking some papers on your desk or writing a few random post-it notes and sticking them to your monitor, etc. Basically you’re trying to do anything and everything to make it look like you’ve just gotten up from your work area a moment earlier and whoever’s looking for you must have just missed you. Darn!
Now, there’s an ingenious deal clincher you can use here to ensure that you’ve got everyone fooled: when you finish your lunch, don’t throw out your trash. Most people do this, “normal” people throw out their trash after they’ve finished eating. This, again, is wrong. Bring your trash back to your cubicle and spread it out at your desk – it makes it look like you ate lunch there and the boss won’t be upset with you if he/she happens to see you coming back into the building with your dry cleaning because you were such a dedicated employee who worked through lunch and only “stepped out” afterward to take care of some semi-urgent personal matters. If, by some miracle, you had already thought to do this before I just told you about it, you may pass Go! and collect two-hundred dollars. Congratulations!
If you don’t have errands to run you can just come back to your desk (with your trash!) and surf the web for 30 minutes or so because, as was just explained, the Arby’s wrappers next to your keyboard make it look like you’ve just finished eating and are still on your lunch “hour”. Total time wasted: 1 hour
This one should be obvious – 20 minutes at least, even if the actual “act” only takes you 30 seconds (must’ve been the Arby’s) – just sit there and relax. Bonus points for multiple bowel movements a day. And, once again, no one can ask any prying questions about what you were doing. You were in “the bathroom”. Total time wasted: between 20 and 30 minutes
A lot of people don’t bring snacks to or buy snacks while at work. These people are known as “idiots”. No one likes to be bothered while they’re eating, so, if someone sees you eating they’re not going to bother you because they know they wouldn’t want you bothering them when they were trying to enjoy that Snickers bar that they had been saving in the freezer all morning. Got it? Mid-morning snacks and mid-afternoon snacks are a must when you’re trying not to be productive. Total time wasted: 15 minutes
9. The “Internet”
It amazes me how anyone gets anything done, or how bosses expect anyone to get anything done, when nearly all of us now have a world of knowledge at our fingertips. There are a plethora of websites that get updated multiple times a day and which can be looked at in a relatively non-discreet manner. Examples include: cnn.com, SI.com, craigslist.org (the Mecca of a procrastinator’s online universe), and others. Now, these aren’t pages that you can leave up on your computer screen all the time, but it’s very easy to take 5, maybe 10, minutes and peruse their content when you get tired of loading your empty stapler. My girlfriend has a more interactive way of wasting her time through her reading of craigslist’s “Missed Connections”. This is definitely more her thing than mine, but I give her the utmost credit here in knowing how to get the least out of her workday. Good work, honey! Or should it be “Good non-work!”? Total time wasted: 30 minutes
This is only acceptable to do with colleagues that do the same thing you do all day – nothing. This is fairly self-explanatory and there isn’t much strategy involved. Just go to one of your buddy’s offices or cubicles and talk about sports or boobs or how little you’ve accomplished so far that day. If you’re a woman talk about your period or chocolate or your cats or whatever else it is that women talk about. The only thing here is to bring some papers or a folder or something “office” looking with you (and a pen!) so if anyone walks by and asks what you “gentleman” (or “ladies”) are “up to” you can say something business-sounding and not, “uh…, nothing…”. Keep the conversation length to a minimum, I’d say no more than 10 minutes, but feel free to do this with a few different people at least 3 times a day. Total time wasted: 30 minutes
This one should also be obvious. Typing emails furiously makes it look like you’re really working hard. I try and keep at least 6 email dialogues per day, Monday through Friday. And, if possible, try and keep a majority of these conversations with females because girls love to chat about “stuff”. Guys are bad at emailing because we don’t have much to say to each other. Most questions guys ask each other require one-, sometimes few-, word answers. Guys are better to call on the phone (local calls only!) because the conversations are quick and can easily go unnoticed. Also, emailing a girl you’re romantically interested in is a great way to court as you’ve got 8 hours to craft and perfect everything you say to her. It’s best to use your work email account to do this because most personal email templates are too colorful and you’re more likely to get caught, but if you have to use a personal account because your work emails are monitored then just be cautious about it. Total time wasted: 1 hour
12. The Half Hour Before You Leave Work
Like the half hour before and after lunch, this time interval is pointless. No one wants to do anything, most people can’t really even concentrate as they’re thinking about their commute or what they’re going to have for dinner or, in my case, where they’re going to get drunk after work and what time they should set their alarm for the next day so as to ensure they can wake up and get into work on time, albeit hung over. I usually use this time to play online games because many people will be leaving, or will already have left, the office and don’t really care what anyone else is doing that late in the day anyway. Total time wasted: 30 minutes
13. Instant Messenger
If you’re lucky enough to have this option at work than you shouldn’t of even had to have read this in the first place because you don’t do shit at work to begin with. Just please make sure to keep the sound muted and have a few work-related windows on your computer monitor available to maximize if the boss man (or boss lady) decides to drop by. Total time wasted: All fucking day. Asshole.
14. Something Like This
I started this thing at 10 am. It is now almost 2 pm. I haven’t done a thing all day and it feels fucking great.
Total time wasted doing all previously mentioned and discussed activities (minus #13 and #14) is…
Approximately 395 minutes or a little over 6.5 hours!
That means, in a given day, you can get by really only doing an hour and a half of actual work. To some even this seems like a lot, maybe even too much, but you must consider that this equates to 7.5 hours of work a week and you’re getting paid for 40. You’re basically being paid to do nothing 32.5 hours a week. You’re awesome.