Time-Wasting Things You Can Stop Doing Right Now

Publish Date
Thursday, 27 October 2016, 9:38AM

Raise your hand if you have a habit of pressing the 'C' (clear) button on the calculator multiple times. Come on. The device does get it, when you do it once. 

There are so many pointless practices we should give up on, yet we still do them inadvertently. The Guardian has come up with a list of 40 things it says you can stop doing right now, including flossing your teeth, drinking eight glasses of water a day and washing your hair daily.

So how many of these do you fall for?

  • Worrying about eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. In Denmark, it’s 6. In Australia, it’s 7. In 2014, campaigners tried upping it to 10. Just eat some vegetables and be done with it.
  • Taking vitamin C supplements. If you feel a cold coming on, it’s pointless to reach for the vitamin C tablets. Study after study has concluded that it won’t do anything.
  • Washing your jeans. The CEO of Levi’s has advised that washing them makes them look bad. Instead, rub off stains with a toothbrush, then leave them to air outside.
  • Having a landline phone. No one calls your landline. You never call anyone’s landline. No one will have a landline at all 10 years from now.
  • Drinking precisely 8 glasses of water a day. That figure was conjured up 70 years ago, and it doesn’t take into consideration your age, your height, your weight, or your activity level.
  • Still using words? Please. Emoji is now the fastest-growing language in history, thanks to its ability to bypass international barriers.
  • Discarding out-of-date food. Unless it smells terrible or is covered in mold, you’re probably fine.
  • Playing the lottery. You’re far more likely to be struck by lightning – twice – than to win. Just give up and accept your miserable fate.
  • Stretching before exercise. It’s unlikely to improve performance or minimise injury. All it does is make you look like a bendy, Lycra goof.
  • Standing in line at the airport departure gate. You have a ticket with a designated seat and airplanes are uncomfortable. It won’t take off without you. Calm down.
  • Flossing. In August, the British Dental Association’s scientific adviser declared flossing to be pointless, adding that all floss-based studies of the past 25 years have been of “very low quality”.
  • Washing your hair every day. Nobody in the history of the world washed their hair as much as we do now. Daily washing is thought to be unnecessary. Every couple of days is good, or less if your hair is curly.