Make the Most of Micro-Idle Time


Is our culture work-obsessed, money-obsessed, or maybe just obsessed? It’s hard to tell the difference. What I do know is that we’re so busy, we don’t even know how to waste time anymore. That is, until I discovered micro-idle time.

I’ve always been proficient at being a lazy bum. Even as a child, I was a prodigy in the wasting time arena. I was the only kid at the playground with his own Lazy-boy. In high school, I lettered in sitting idly by. I slept to noon during summers off, and until 1 pm during school.

Then something terrible happened.

I grew older.

I got married.

We had children.

It’s a whole new ballgame. I used to have time to spare. Now I don’t have spare time whatsoever. The typical routine:

  • Wake-up: 6:15 am
  • Exercise: 6:15 – 6:45 am (Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 – she’s freakin’ Nazi.)
  • Shower, shave: 7:15-7:16
  • Eat, talk to kids, kiss the wife: 7:17:30 – 7:17:45
  • Work – 7:17:45 – 9:30 pm
  • Eat, talk to kids, kiss the wife: 9:30:01 – 9:30:30 pm
  • Write this stupid blog – 9:30:30 – 4:30 am
  • Sleep – 4:30 – 6:15 am
  • Do over

You’ve probably noticed a lot of time devoted to work. That would be a whole lot shorter if I didn’t have:

  • My own business
  • My electronic devices with which you could easily access me at any point of the day
  • My array of living creatures to which I feel obligated to provide lodging, food and sixty seconds of daily interactions.

Am I whining? Of course I’m whining. It’s the American way. But I’m also one of the preeminent epiphanizers on the planet’s surface. If I have a problem, I fix it. And my problem is entirely fixable.

I want to get back to the life where I had time to waste. To do that, I just need to be more efficient about wasting time.

Seconds Count

knitting and ball of yarn

Do you realize how much time we truly waste every day? I did some rough calculations, and I discovered I actually have 4 hours of idle time on a daily basis. Well, not entirely idle time; I refer to it as “micro-idle time.”

Micro-idle time occurs during moments of brief transit, activity, or other mindless tasks. For example, when I get up from my desk and go to the bathroom, there is at least twenty seconds when I’m not doing anything but walking. Twenty seconds!

These little instances of micro-idle time really add up. I calculated all the micro-idle time, and it turns out I’ve got 15 days of unused vacation time a year. I immediately altered to my habits to take advantages of these abundant pockets of leisure.

Now when I walk from my desk to the bathroom, I engage in a quick game of paddle-ball, or I’ll do a few stitches of my knitting. Or, if I’m sitting the toilet taking care of business, I’ll invite some friends into the bathroom to catch up on old times.

Micro-idle time is all around, folks. So quit whining about how busy you are, and start idling!


  1. I think everyone deserves a some micro-idle time every day! Two hours sleep? Did I read that right? Wow…

  2. Greg, Greg! There haven’t been any epiphanies in a REALLY LONG TIME!!! We miss you!

Speak Your Mind