The other day while I was sweating it out at the gym, I noticed a woman with a full face of make-up, strolling at a leisurely pace on the treadmill in front of me. I glanced over at the treadmill’s display only to discover that she had spent over an hour on it. Now this bothered me for two reasons. One: I had about half an hour to get into the gym and bust my ass, otherwise my venture to the wonderful world of exercise would not be worth it. I did not have time to soak in the view of the men in the weights room and the gleam of my own reflection in the adjacent mirror. Why come to a gym if are going to plod along with an intensity that is barely going to burn off a tic tac? And two: what is the point of spending time caking on make-up? It will drip down your face and end up on your hand towel. This revelation got me thinking about all those little things that annoy me; things that people seem to do for no good reason whatsoever.
It is, however, necessary to point out that anything one does to relax or relieve the stress of uni and work, should not be considered a waste of time. Who am I to ridicule hours spent soaking in a bubble bath, watching every season of Family Guy and playing god to your Sims characters? To me, wasting time involves activities of no benefit to yourself or others, intellectually, physically or emotionally.
One thing I will never understand is people who iron underwear. Personally, I refuse to iron and choose to strategically hang my clothes instead. Not everyone is accustomed to my mad clothes line skills, therefore I do see the benefit of ironing a few items of clothing. But, there is absolutely no point in ironing underwear. First of all, one can only hope that a finite number of people get to see your underwear in the first place. I sincerely doubt that those who do, will be judging, or even noticing the crinkles in your draws. While there are a few other pieces of clothing that fall under the “you do not need to waste time ironing that” category, underwear is the pinnacle.
Over the course of my schooling and university days, I have come across people who partake in one of the most pointless, time wasting activities in an educational environment. It is the act of rewriting lecture notes for no other reason than to make them neat. NEAT! If you can understand the notes to the extent that you are able to rewrite them, they are neat enough. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. Rewriting notes when preparing for exams as it helps you remember, is not a time waster. Rewriting notes neater so that your inattentive friends can benefit from your diligent note taking may waste your time, but will help others. You are not going to be given presentation marks for something that no one else is going to see, so put the effort into something worth your time.
Finally, Facebook. I think I have made my point, but I will expand. Checking updates and distributing the occasional status about your riveting life is not a time waster, it is maintenance of social networks. Spending hours trawling through your news feed, viewing and judging people you barely know is a time waster. Also, writing statuses such as “Totes ironing my undies, keen for a two hour gym session, best make sure I look hot for it” not only let the world know that you are wasting time, but that you are wasting time, while you tell people about how you will waste more time. Pull yourself away from your gadgets and do something that will actually bring you pleasure while you procrastinate.
Spend your time doing things of necessity or substance. Finally, I wish to point out that writing an article for a university publication is a splendid use of time, as is playing spider solitaire.
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