Mastering the Art of Inefficiency: 8 proven ways to waste time like a pro

Benoit Lamouche
3 min readJan 25, 2024


Here is my top 8 for effectively wasting time at a minimum of 10 hours per week.

Activate Social Network Notifications

This one is my favorite, the most effective!

The best method to be inefficient and unproductive is to activate notifications on social networks, both personal networks like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and others, and professional networks like LinkedIn.

A short ringtone, and a message on the phone screen are the best ways to divert our gaze and our attention for a fraction of a second, a fraction of a second enough to ruin productivity.

This advice can also be applied to the computer and desktop applications (mail, Teams…).

“Turn off the notifications. Not just the noisy ones, but the visual ones too.”
Tim Ferris

With this kind of phrase, Tim Ferris is clearly on the side of the losers.

Say Yes to Notification Push (Always)

This second method, fortunately, is becoming more and more widespread.

Thanks to the wonderful invention of web push, many sites now offer to notify us of their latest news.

This is a new superb opportunity to be disturbed, and to receive information that will surely arrive at the wrong moment.


This rule is very simple, postpone until tomorrow everything that is not essential today.

In this way, you will quickly reach a stage where it will be impossible to do everything and you will necessarily have to “skip” some of the tasks.

Randomly Scroll in Social Networks

This is THE best way to waste time, and I think it was in the developers’ specifications when they developed the infinite scroll functionalities. Very addictive and providing very little added value, it’s one of the best ways to waste time (sometimes far beyond our expectations).

Mix Personal and Professional Life

Switching from a personal task to a professional task is a great way to waste time. It’s actually one of the main advantages of teleworking, being able to mix the two.

My advice is therefore not to compartmentalize these two areas and to switch from one to the other as often as possible.

Skip from One Task to Another Randomly

Managing tasks randomly, without any order of complexity or importance, is a good way to waste time and to focus on what is not really important.

Giving priority to simple and quick tasks and postponing complex and long tasks clearly belong to the toolbox of inefficiency.

No Task Management

Trusting your memory and scraps of paper lying around on the desk is also an excellent way to waste time.

Avoid at all costs using a productivity or efficiency tool. These might save you time.

Open Emails and Don’t Manage Them

An excellent way to be inefficient with emails is to open them (read them or not), then close them without processing them right away, and without marking them as “unread”. This will ensure a few reminder emails and a few minutes lost.