Seven Great Ways to Waste Time

Play word games. I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013, and this post was inspired by two things: my inability to think of anything to write about on the theme of “seven” and a Facebook request in Disney’s Words of Wonder.

  • Do a crossword puzzle.
  • Skim the dictionary, learn five new words, and use each of them in a sentence.
  • Write a sonnet.

Create art. Use whatever you have on hand.

  • Using paper, glue, and seeds, nut shells, and spices, make a picture.
  • With nothing but water, flour, old newspapers, and a balloon (or some aluminum foil you’ve molded into a shape), try your hand at papier mache.
  • Draw something.

Communicate Creatively. Keep a journal, start a blog.

  • Decorate a plain white envelope and mail it to a friend.
  • Take a picture with your cell phone’s camera. Using any free photo editing app, add some cool effects. Share it.
  • Write a note about a happy childhood memory. Mail it to whoever lives at that address now.

Get hooked on a TV series, but watch it online – in bed. Here are a few addictive ones to get you started (all are available, mostly for free, through Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Streaming Video):

  • Fringe.
  • Sherlock.
  • Downton Abbey.
  • The Tudors.
  • The Borgias.

Read. Okay, by now, you’ve caught on, surely – none of these things are a “waste” of time!

Cook something fun. That’s right – fun. Fun and frivolous and it doesn’t matter if it turns out edible or not. The point is to try something new. I made caramels, the other day; they never really set, and these tiny little bugs came out of nowhere and ate them before I had a chance to try one! But now I think I know how to make them. The bugs are still a problem – they’ve not been seen before or since! So I’m a little wary of making caramels, now…

Go outside and lay in the grass. Look up. What do you see?

  • Do you see shapes in the clouds?
  • Can you identify the constellations? (Use an app and your cell phone if you need help!)
  • If you lay very still and watch long enough, you may spot a satellite. Try it.
  • Make a wish. Shooting star or no.




Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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21 thoughts on “Seven Great Ways to Waste Time”

  1. I love the Borgias! Too bad it’s not on cable anymore.

    I love scanning my Twitter feed for new words, old words that are just dying to be brought back again, and delicious new expressions.

    Just yesterday I was thrilled to find poppycock used by a friend. Of course, contributed tomfoolery.

    1. Cairn contributed tomfoolery, I meant to say. In another news, Eeyore might not like it too much I littered my small comment with the word love. lol

      1. Oh, Eeyore is one of the most loving creatures in Pooh Corner! Lovable, too, despite his perpetual gloomy demeanor. Probably because he’s rather stoic about it and doesn’t actually expect anyone to DO anything about it. He’s always so delighted, in his own way, to be surprised in that – but never acts particularly NEEDY, either.
        Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Seven Things I Want My Kids to KnowMy Profile

    1. Good point, C., but that seemed too obvious. 😉

      Okay – #8: Do nothing. This is much harder than it seems – akin to the commandment of professional meditators to “clear your mind, make it a blank.” Impossible! Variants on doing nothing include:

      – soak in a warm bath (no daydreaming!)
      – stare vacantly at a wall and try NOT to find interesting shapes and patterns in the stucco (but don’t try too hard, of course)
      – nap (but if you dream, you’re not “doing nothing”)
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Seven Things I Want My Kids to KnowMy Profile

  2. You do come up with interesting things! I tried reading the dictionary, but it has no plot. The art work with aluminum foil, newspaper, work well. Plaster of Paris makes for nice 3-D too!

    1. It has no plot, that’s true, but once you’ve collected some interesting words, YOU can create a plot and use them to coax it from the pen (or PC) and get it onto the page.

      I haven’t played with Plaster of Paris in a long time… that’s an intriguing idea! But I forgot one: You can totally mold dirt like clay, then let it dry in the sun. (This is a more artsy version of the mud pies you once tried to encourage me to make – it’s still kind of icky, but at least maybe you could make a sort of biodegradable flower pot or seed starter? It might SEEM less gratuitously gross.)
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Seven Things I Want My Kids to KnowMy Profile

  3. Holly, you are so creative! I would never have been able to think up seven things to do, much less add multiple examples! (And do it so charmingly)

      1. OH, gosh! I’m so glad I’ve finished my coffee! Otherwise, it would have sprayed all across my computer screen!! Dying laughing. 🙂

    1. The title was mostly inspired by the fact that one man’s “time waster” is another’s hobby. We can be so judgmental – right down to looking down our noses at how others choose to spend their precious life moments differently than we do. One of the things I often hear, when I mention having a blog, is “Oh, I wish I had time for that stuff…” or “Where do you find the time?” We all manage to MAKE time for the things we want to do. Some people spend an inordinate amount of time, in my opinion, being proud of being busy. Not that they really are all that busy, but they are desperate for others to think so. I’m not talking about the folks who are truly swamped now and then, but the perpetually “busy.” Either they have time-management issues, or they’ve chosen this as the way to spend their time – and I’m not going to waste mine feeling sorry for them or letting them imply that my choices are somehow inferior to theirs.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Seven Great Ways to Waste TimeMy Profile

    1. Well, if we are having fun with the social media time suckers, that’s okay! We all choose how to spend our time. Sometimes, that’s just the thing, eh? I still think it’s better, more interactive, than staring mindlessly at the TV. (Which is different than being too tired to type, and choosing – mindfully – to watch a show and relax. Or nap.)
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Seven Great Ways to Waste TimeMy Profile

  4. Great 7!! As kids, me and my younger sis would love to do crafts…from paper mache to engraving on aluminium foil to cutting curtain 😉 we did it all!! Too bad we grew up!

    Gazing at the sky, just lost in its vastness…my favorite!
    Aditi recently posted…The Se7en Days (part 2)My Profile

    1. Not sure what you had in mind with “engraving on aluminum foil,” but you suddenly brought back vague childhood memories of similar crafts… Something like this: and and
      Too bad we grew up, indeed… might have to revisit the aluminum foil crafts this weekend. Thanks for invoking the memories, Aditi!
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Seven Great Ways to Waste TimeMy Profile

  5. I really need to try number 7!

    I do the other tasks though, well except for cooking 😀 I don’t quite play word games these days, I devote most of my learning time to learning new languages. Right now I am trying to learn French and German 😀

    I do read daily 😀 I am a fan of non-fiction, but recently I decided to switch over to fiction. Reading Hercule Poirot series right now (I love mystery and detective stories :D)

    As for art, all I am trying to do is draw. Perhaps I should consider other media? (It never occurred to me though, so thanks for the tip, Holly).

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