CAUSING heartbreak while alive and breaking hearts in death. David Cassidy's daughter has revealed her father's final words: “So much wasted time.”

Doesn't that hit you in the guts? Teen idol, pop star, actor, wealth, fame. What kind of time could David Cassidy have wasted?

We all do it, though, don't we? Faff about. Procrastinate. I would love to scoop up all those wasted minutes - not the lollygagging minutes, there's justification for aimless ambling along - no, all those faffed away minutes. Scoop them up, add them up and work out what I might have done with them in an alternate life where I had focus.

All those minutes spent failing to change hearts and minds with pointless bandying back and forth of pointless views when someone is wrong on the internet. The minutes spent mindlessly, numbly scrolling through Facebook feeds and Twitter.

Academics from DePaul University in Chicago warned that time-wasting ruined millions of lives, damaging careers, relationships and health.

Computers and mobile phones are blamed for distracting us. I understand this. My mobile phone is a blessing and a curse. Professor Joseph Ferrari carried out a study that showed 15 to 20 per cent of people are chronic procrastinators, a condition he claimed lowers self-esteem, causes insomnia and damages health because we're so busy procrastinating we put off going to the doctor.

During the course of writing this I have looked at Twitter and Facebook countless times. I have discovered my ex-boyfriend's Facebook page is no longer set to private so that's passed 20 minutes. I've sent some emails, written the agenda for a residents association meeting and added a comment into a story on our sister paper's website.

While I could fool you into thinking that was all productive, I've also walked across the office to pick some fluff off my coat and changed my shoes. There is an until now unnoticed red dot on one of the ceiling tiles above my desk. What is it? It looks like a bindi. How did it get up there? Are those smudges up there... footprints? I contemplate climbing on my desk for a closer look but the office security camera is trained in my direction.

It's now 1.17am.

There is micro-time wasting, such as this. There is macro-time wasting, such as never taking that trip or learning that language or telling that One he was It. Humphrey Bogart's last words were: "I should never have switched from Scotch to martinis." That's the way to live, finishing life with your only memorable regret being the failure to imbibe more of a specific alcoholic beverage.

Busyness is a hot trend, I notice more and more. To be busy is a state of virtue to which everyone must subscribe. British Gas emailed me on Thursday with this offer: "the Hive Welcome Home Plan can help make your busy, hectic life that little bit easier." It is the mass marketing bog standard to flatter customers with the notion that their stress levels are a thing of which to be proud.

Busyness is bad for us, for our health and our social lives. Time wasting has its virtues. It's important to kick back and do nothing but mull over the secret lives of ceiling tiles sometimes.

It's just me and the cleaner now. The vacuum cleaner sounds like a million constipated wasps straining at the end of a tunnel. I have had to unplug the Christmas tree lights in the Sales department because, in my periphery vision, they look like the aura before a migraine.

Wasted time is the reason I abhor bad customer service. There is no refund or free coffee voucher that can make up for having time wasted visiting a shop twice or waiting on hold on the phone. It's a mini manslaughter; my life is shorter now. It cannot be got back, that time.

It's now 1.52am. I could have been finished at 10pm. What would I have done with those extra hours? I would have made it further through White Teeth, which I've been trying to read for days now. I might have written some Christmas cards and had a cup of tea.

Professor Ferrari suggests chronic procrastinators require counselling. Would it work? If I could scoop up those minutes, maybe I would use them no better.

At least I would have consciously used them. On reflection, all this waste is inexcusable.