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Saturday, July 09, 2005 

How To - Do Nothing

If you've been keeping up with this blog since the beginning you would remember that I started it because I had nothing to do at work. Well I've been at work over four weeks now and I still don't have any work to do. The past few days I've come to realize how good at doing nothing I've become. I actually have so much "nothing" to do, I have trouble doing it all in a day! I'm sure now you are thoroughly confused by what I mean by "having nothing." I use this term to refer to the act of doing things that have no relevance to work and are used to pass the time; reading websites, talking to coworkers about nothing in particular, the list goes on and on Once again, I've realized this knowledge may be very useful to some of you, and I have decided to write a post about it to help you out. Here goes... The key to keeping yourself busy with nothing is to have enough of it to fill the day and that every day the content of what you do changes. The first thing that probably comes to your mind is reading websites, and you would be right. Although, after a few hours of this it becomes very dull, but this can be avoided if you know what kind of websites to read. The two important factors when including websites in your daily line up are, how often the site updates and if there are ways to get involved in the website. For updating, ideally you would like a site that updates several times a day. The best sites for these are blogs, and what's even better is that there are blogs out there for virtually every kind of interest. You can use google to find blogs of your interest, and once you have found one you will easily be able to find others since blogs of the same interest end up linking to each other. Another good site that is always updated are news sites, every day the contents is different! The second criteria, involvement, can also be achieved through blogs or forums. You want a website that you can start and join in discussions. If you use these discussions, and if the websites have active readers, you will find yourself going back to these website often to check and respond to new posts. If the conversation becomes lively you will find yourself thinking about the conversation in between readings, which also helps pass the time. After websites, the second best way to pass the time is with books. Obviously most people can't sit there reading a book without being perceived as a slacker, but luckily there are ways around this. The best method is to use audio books. Buy some audio books on CD and either bring in a CD player or convert them to mp3s and listen to them. The reason I say this is the best way is because of its appearance. It appears as if you are hard at work in front of your computer using music to block out ambient noise, and therefore keep you focused, when in reality you are zoning out listening to a wonderful book. If audio books aren't an option the next best thing are hard back books. I must emphasis they have to be hard back books. Lets say you bring in a book with a nicely designed cover with bold colors and a large title, people will see this and realize you are not doing work and you will probably get in trouble. The wonderful thing about a hardback book is the cover comes off! You can sit there with a very plain looking book, and for all people know you could be reading a book about your job to help you stay on top of the subject area. This works even better if you fill your desk up with technical books exactly of this sort, even though you aren't reading anything like it. The last and final way to do nothing is talk to your coworkers. The reason I put this last is unless they also have nothing to do you will just keep them from getting work done and bother them. Even if you coworkers do have work to do stopping in every once in a while is okay. To avoid taking up too much of their time, the best set up is to assign each coworker a topic. For example you may talk to coworker A about sports and coworker B about computers. By having different subjects assigned to different coworkers you can hop between them all and end up spending a lot of time doing it! Plus it doesn't seem like you are wasting time because each coworker only knows of the 10~15 minutes you wasted talking to them. I hope this is able to help some people out there! Once again, if you have any comments or stories leave them in the comments section =)

Any way to make sure your boss doesn't browse your blog every day?

Not really, but I never say where I work. =p Hopefully I don't get fired, but hey it's not like I'm not doing my work since they haven't givenme any yet!

You're getting behind on your nothing. You haven't made an official post today. Shame!

wow. what a long entry.. about nothing. impressive.

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