Multitasking on the Toilet – Justin Hanks

Multitasking on the Toilet

Justin Hanks

I was in the middle of watching “Yo Gabba Gabba”… which isn’t creepy at all… when suddenly I had an urge to go potty. I became furious. Not only must I now abandon my dancing puppet friends, but I was officially going to lose the next 15 minutes of my life.

Bathroom breaks are so annoying. Why can’t the human body be more efficient? Birds poop in like two seconds and it helps them fly. Our bodies are backwards; birds have to poop in order to move, but humans have to move in order to poop.

And to make matters worse, once I finally sat on the seat, I realized I had forgotten my phone. What the hell was I going to do? Sitting all alone with no technology can be, well, lonely.

To prevent death by boredom, I found myself analyzing the shower curtain and playing “spot the pattern” with the floor tiles. I even started reading the back of a shampoo bottle and checking its caloric content. Think about that.

I don’t know what I would have done without that bottle. All bathrooms should have one. I bet that’s why it’s called shamPOO.

Do you ever find yourself doing these same stupid activities when you’re on the toilet? I can’t be alone. I mean, the average person spends close to a year and a half of their life on the crapper, and I doubt anyone spends the entire time sitting perfectly still like some sort of potty zombie.

As a species, it’s like our brains have evolved to develop a coping mechanism; allowing us to find excitement in the dumbest things as soon as our butts hit the seat.

When we’re on the toilet, we’re compelled to do something. ANYTHING. Perhaps going to the bathroom is our cure for procrastination.

To be honest, I’ve found myself blowing my nose, reading a book, checking my email, texting, tweeting, studying for an exam, meditating, and even taking part in a phone interview. I almost got the job until the motion sensor made the toilet flush.

Come to think of it, maybe the human body is efficient after all. Bathroom breaks might seem like a big waste of time, but they can actually be super productive.

After all, where do you think I wrote this article?

52 Responses

  1. Rainy says:

    Thank you for those words, they mean so much to me T__T In answer to your questions, yeah it's a pink stitch (creepy, yes) and the tower of Pisa thingy was in the middle of this stupid wannabe roller coaster that the kids and I rode.

    LOL. I peed my pants reading your "I moan in my sleep" post. If I were one of your friends I would've done the same thing. I'd even record it. All in good fun~

    Well anyway, you aren't alone but I'm not one of you people who spend 10 minutes in the toilet. I guess I just got lucky πŸ˜‰

  2. Campbell says:

    it’s funny… you failed to mention taking pictures and then using them as handouts for the singers show…. πŸ˜‰

  3. Ashleenah says:

    Thank you for liking my FB page. πŸ™‚ My score was 71/66. πŸ™

    I always play games on my phone (or if I don't have my phone on me I end up reading things that I actually have no interest in reading, like shampoo/conditioner/etc bottles).

    To be honest, I usually end up sitting on the toilet longer even though I've finished because I'm busy reading or playing games. Or even in FB.

  4. Jhase says:

    Hahaha. I told you that you still had it in you. I agree, I've found some of the best ideas to write is developed in the bathroom. I'll do you one better, the shower. I always think of amazing stuff while I scrub myself clean and fresh.

    Usually I read a book or I'm texting or I'm playing Words With Friends. I've sat so much from doing an interesting activity, on the toilet I mean, that my leg has went numb on occasions. It's funny, such a painful time consuming experience can lead to some of the best ideas.

    Then you tell people where you had it, and they're like, "Uh…gross?" Uh, no.

  5. Jamie says:

    Hey Justin! Thanks for your comment. I agree, it was kinda weird seeing that as I've never seen those kind of names before but it seems like a rather nice community.

    Anyway, this is a good story lol. You sound a bit like my dad. lol. Sitting on the crapper all a lone. Maybe you should do a music video on that? lol. Just saying.

  6. Steven says:

    Hah! I loved this post.
    I agree, I do those same things (tweet, text or play games), but once in awhile I forget my phone. I read the backs of bottles.
    Never did an interview, though.. I don't know if I could, haha!

  7. Meaghan says:

    Oh my gosh. I MISSED YOUUUU. You're rarely on Twitter. ;~; Did I tell you I got a new one? My old one got hacked… I found out a few weeks ago that it was my boyfriend who did it as an April Fools' joke. Not funny.

    Yes, boyfriend! πŸ™‚ We've been going out for almost 3 years already. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? D:

    He just rented it from the library. We're both not big fans on buying the books because we only read them like, once.

    I totally agree with you on this one. I can't go to the bathroom without bringing something whether it be my phone, a book, or my iPad. *ashamed*
    Even when I'm done, I end up sitting in there for way longer than I need to be. LOL.
    If I forget one of those three things, it doesn't matter much. I don't take that long to use the bathroom.

    That felt really awkward to type out… just sayin'. ;P

  8. Kay Lorraine says:

    Justin, this is my first visit to your website. I enjoyed changing the color from three-Mile-Island day-glo green to a lovely violet. Actually, more of a periwinkle. Very nice. Rather soothing. I may change it again before I leave the site, however. I have a short attention span.

    I clicked your silly don’t click here, button. Of course, you knew that I would. Be honest – you would have been soooo disappointed if I hadn’t clicked it. And despite my short attention span, I stayed with it to the bitter end. Because that’s the kind of wonderful woman I am.

    Anyway, regarding the blog post. Unfortunately, I spotted a major philosophical error fairly early on. You asked, β€œWhy can’t the human body be more efficient? Birds poop in like two seconds (and it often lands on people’s heads… heehee). We’re backwards. Birds have to poop in order to move, but humans have to move in order to poop.”

    Actually, humans do not have to move in order to poop. You could poop whenever and wherever you get the urge. You could even poop on people’s heads, although it’s hard to get them to lie still while you do it. Still, you COULD if you really wanted to. You move to poop because you choose to do so. You have made a conscious choice from the options available: poop in your pants, poop where you stand/sit, poop where you eat (never a good decision). Ahhhh, decision! Have you made the statement that humans have to move in order to poop because that is a decision you have made? A decision requires commitment. A decision is irrevocable (in theory). At this stage in our relationship, I do not think that I can recommend that you make an irrevocable decision about this matter. Leave yourself some wiggle room in case circumstances change. Just CHOOSE to move in order to poop until you are older and have had an opportunity to weigh all of your options.

    Having made this choice, however, you will have to resolve your other, more obvious, problem. You simply do not have a complete and fully stocked bathroom. This is a failing that you must examine completely. How is it that a man with a college degree has not made the appropriate arrangements for long periods on the toilet? Is it because you are living with your mommy and sister and do not have sufficient influence in the household to fix such an obvious design flaw? Justin, you desperately need a magazine rack. It need not be fancy. But it needs to hold the following essential items: a minimum of two (2) Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers. I suggest the Triumphant 20th Anniversary Edition and the Heavy Duty 23rd Edition. Also, the Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection and The Far Side Gallery (Off the Wall and Hound of the Far Side).

    Honestly, reading the backs of the shampoo bottles is soooo last year.

    Kay in Hawaii

  9. Mei says:

    Honestly, this is my first time I read a blogpost that is about peeing, bathroom, lalalala hahaha
    In my case, I also do that spot the pattern thingy. Is that weird? XD

  10. Meaghan says:

    Yay! Really? I don't see your tweets! Well, I saw one earlier today… but that was the only one.

    YES WE WERE! Don't you remember? I used to talk to you about him… I think! Well let's see… he's 20 years old. He's Asian. Speaks Cantonese. Our families have weekend parties all the time together. I don't know what else to tell you haha.

    LOL, she chose studying on the toilet of all things??? I would never study on the toilet. It'll bore me & I'd probably fall asleep on the toilet. *embarrassing*

  11. Meaghan says:

    Okay good. I was about to insult your memory.

    Yes, lots of booze. There used to be a picture on my Instagram (meaghannnnn) on how much we finished one night. It filled up the whole windowsill AND we had to stack the beer cans to make it fit.
    Sometimes, the adults offer us some. Weird, right?
    Underage drinking is a no no. But that's Asian parties for you.

    Psh, no I don't! If it's studying, I could fall asleep anywhere at anytime.

  12. Meaghan says:

    WHAT. ;o

    AND WHY? I gave in, sadly. It's kind of exciting getting new followers & having people "♥" your pictures. I rarely use the filters though… they have such bad effects. There's only one that's really acceptable to use to fix the lighting, but that's about it.

    Anatomy. :| I need to pass it! I have a D, f*ck. If I don't bring it up, I won't have a college to go to! πŸ™

  13. Meaghan says:

    I don't drink wine. I don't drink at all actually. The last thing I drank was champagne with cranberry juice. I got drunk off of that. -__- I think I had two tall glasses.

    LOL. There are a lot of wannabe hipsters at my school. I just want Chuck Norris to roundhouse kick them in the face.
    Well, if you get an account, you don't have to use the filters! I never have filters on mine. When I first got it, I used them to test them out & I didn't like any of them.

    It is. And I can't memorize for shit. WHY DID I EVEN TAKE THAT CLASS. Ugh, I just wanted to torture myself. -__- I thought it'd be helpful because I'm taking a nursing class… but it definitely isn't.

  14. Krystal says:

    Haha, this post was funny! xD

    Sometimes I get annoyed that I have to use the bathroom too, esp. when I'm in the middle of doing something important where I just REALLY don't wanna get up, haha.

    I typically bring magazines or a book I'm currently reading into the bathroom. πŸ˜› I would bring in my Nintendo DS Lite too if I was in the middle of playing a game. But like you, if I forget to bring in anything, I start to read labels from all the bottles in the bathroom or I just sit there and think about things, lol.

  15. javes says:

    I tend to vocalize while pooping. I'm not a singer, though lol.

    Cute and funny blog you've got here! πŸ˜‰

  16. April says:

    LOL I must completely agree with this…sometimes, I even let my cat come in and I will throw toilet rolls and she will chase after them and bring them back…pretty productive. I'm giving my cat love and losing 10 pounds of shit at the same time! πŸ™‚

  17. Bethany Lee says:

    Hahahahaha! I totally love your scatalogical sense of humor. I saw your link for this post on LinkedIn and when I saw the name of your blog, I just had to stop by. And yes, using the bathroom is such an inconvenient thing, isn't it? Love your humor. We all need more of this. You rock!

  18. Erica says:

    I don't have a smartphone, so I find myself playing spot the pattern fairly often. Oh look, it's a pony! Shampoo bottles get boring because once you've read one, you've read them all.

    So… since you forgot your smartphone, I guess you brought your laptop to the bathroom with you to write this blog?

  19. Jenny says:

    LOL, I like how you end the post implying that you wrote it on the potty πŸ˜›
    But seriously, I can't stand just sitting there doing nothing (well, not really nothing, but you know), so I used to leave books in the bathroom for that purpose. But now that I have my phone, it's all I need. And yes, when I do forget my phone, I end up reading labels off lotions, lol.

  20. Sandra says:

    OMG…. hahah I must have my phone when I go to my throne! good things there games and even pdfs where I read "online" books. I get to be really productive too when I sing inside there.

  21. Mallory says:

    JUSTIIIIIIN. Your blog posts, Goddamn, boy, they're always so hilarious! I had to Tweet about this entry due to all the grinning and laughter, and I don't often do that.

    And I was shocked when I first found out that other people also read shampoo bottles when they're bored whilst poopin'. I've decided that's why they named it shamPOO.

    Ah? Ah?


  22. Amy says:

    Well, it isn't a pretty subject, but it had to be said. πŸ˜› I can't exactly relate to your poop scenario, but I get a lot accomplished when I'm driving. Stuck in the driver's seat with no technology (well, very little, anyway) I end up coming up with some great ideas and working out some problems I couldn't find a solution to.

  23. Colette says:

    Haha well I usually sit still or if I remember to bring my phone in I play games, or I just read a book on my kindle. Makes time go much faster aaaand you are not rushing at all haha.
    Have a good day!

  24. Erica says:

    Hello Justin, thank you for dropping by my website and saying hello! I must say, I love everything about your website, including the guestbook!

  25. Stereo says:

    God, it's so true. There's been more than once that I've almost been in a bladder-related accident because I have paused to consider just what reading material to take with me in the bathroom – this is something that cannot be taken lightly.

  26. Liza says:

    Well, it's kinda official I guess; it's been a year sorta since you last blogged on here. πŸ˜› I could do that, but I don't know. πŸ˜› People would wonder why I wasn't blogging on my blog anymore if I did that. P:

    Haha, that phone interview on the toilet? πŸ˜› That's hilarious. xD

    I guess I typically just end up looking around, noticing the smallest of things. I'd rather not read anything, because that's kind of gross to me (trust me, if you spent most of your life in a household that reads whilst sitting on the toilet and DOES OTHER THINGS instead of reading, then you wouldn't either). Also, I'm a germaphobe. That's probably why I don't read whilst on the toilet, either.

    Did you use your laptop, or did you use your phone? I can't blog from my phone, and I definitely wouldn't take my laptop with me to the bathroom. xD

  27. Clint says:

    Really. Mine's like I spend more time on pooping than taking a bath. I always have my smartphone whenever I am inside the bathroom. Music relaxes me inside. πŸ™‚

  28. Gail says:

    Lol I can totally relate to this! I can never ever go to the bathroom without my phone around. I always use it, because I tend to get bored whenever I'm inside. I don't enjoy having to go there for a few minutes as well, I might as well enjoy having to take a bath but sitting there for a few minutes can be quite boring.. and tiring. LOL

    PS. You're lucky you don't get to experience having periods. Those are the worst.

  29. Cynthia says:

    I thought tweeting was required while sitting on the toilet. If it weren't for the porcelein throne, I would never have time to tweet. LOL I thought I was the only one!

  30. Tiara Lynn says:

    LOL. Oh my goodness. I saw your comment on my blog and I immediately laughed out loud. I came to your website and while reading this blog…I continued to laugh. Oh my gosh. Lol

    I don't bring my iphone in to the restroom due to me reading loads of horror stories about dropping it into the toilet and what not. πŸ™

  31. Holly says:

    I think I must be really quick in the toilet haha! I rarely ever have time to play around with my phone. I usually look at the tiles on the bathroom wall for some odd reason. One time I noticed that they weren't on straight.

    Thank you for your lovely comment. πŸ™‚ I'm so happy to know that my new layout is a success.

  32. Cindy says:

    I actually use this time to catch up on some reading on my Kindle. I get so mad when people knock on the door telling me to hurry up. They obviously have not yet understood the beauty of the quietness that the toilet provides us with.. However, do you think you'd still feel the same in an outhouse? I'm pretty sure you'd have to entertain yourself by squatting and swapping flies from getting too close to your behind. (Personal experience in Africa) LOL.

  33. Fahi says:

    *still laughing out loud while writing my comment* Omg I truly understand you, I feel so lonely on the toilet. Usually I listen to music or read books. Anyway just want to say thank for the comment you had left on my blog and I truly love yours. Especially the whole changing colour of the layouts.Amazing. Oh and I am absolutely following on twitter!!!!

  34. John says:

    Sadly, the older I get the more bathroom breaks I need to take. Thank God for good smartphone reception! Words with Friends is a great time killer while letting nature take its course!

  35. Dorine says:

    High-five! Glad to know I'm not "abnormal", then. I often read in the toilet because I love reading and, well, I'm obviously not going to spend the time staring into space. Sometimes I bring my phone into the washroom and play some games, then end up staying there longer than I'm supposed to. :/

  36. Clarisse says:

    Normally, I don't really have time to do much on the toilet…sometimes I bring my Kindle or a magazine in with me, but I barely ever get to read any of them.

    When I do, though, I sometimes end up staying in there too long…

    It's strange that you found me again, since I actually remember going to your blog a couple of times before to return comments, probably from my old blog from a couple of years ago. A blog name like this is hard to forget, haha.

  37. Nancy says:

    Welcome back from that 1 year break from blogging! It's been a long while, Justin :c.

    I suppose it's meant for humans to move in order to poop. I mean, you could poop where ever you are, but that's not acceptable for society… compared to birds, you can't really control where they're supposed to poop at. This is all confusing '~'.

    Not much people really talk about what they do during the time they're in the crapper. If you manage to find something to do (which you did), you're taking advantage of every moment possible in life. That's more effective than anything else :P.

    That's true about the Avengers; there's too many building scenes, but it's worth the outcome. I still liked it regardless.

    I play around 10 instruments, give or take. But my main instruments are clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, and at the very least, trumpet.

    Take care (:

  38. Angelica says:

    I have a magazine at the bathroom. When I've forgot to put a new magazine in there I've also found myself reading the text on shampoo bottles, hair spray bottles and whatever I can find.

  39. Dylan says:

    Hey Justin! Great post and blog! I really like the feel and layout. Plus you talk about anything and everything, as evidenced by this excellent post on poop. Good show, old bean! Consider me a fan.

  40. Paul Conway says:

    Hey Justin
    Firstly great post πŸ™‚
    Seconly: Yuk…re writing the post whilst on the loo having a poo πŸ˜‰

  41. nyuu says:

    I sense that you get a lot of wonderful ideas for your blog posts while you're doing your business lol

    I think the same way. I think it's annoying that the human body needs to dispose of waste… I even ranted about this to my friend and she replied that humans need to dispose of these things to make space. My reply: bollocks! The human body is flawed!

    I dislike needing to use the toilet, it's a waste of my time. I actually cannot even read a book while I'm on it because I find that just sitting there is already very uncomfortable.

    But I guess some people enjoy the "break"

  42. Hey Justin,

    I like your style. Funny and to the point.

    I read the back of my deodorant the other day and found out it's based on precious woods, who'd have known πŸ™‚ lol.

    Cool post,
    Daniel Carton

  43. Deanna says:

    Haha, welcome back. I personally don't take long in the bathroom unless I'm sick. And I can't do anything else while using the washroom or it won't work. My bodys like, "Hey stop doing that and pay attention to the job at hand!"…Anyway, to answer some of your questions from my blog, I nominated you because I was running out of bloggers that I like and you were one that I always enjoyed reading. I eat vegetables to make Winston happy. Also I want to be able to say, "no I don't like that food" with confidence instead of saying "I tried that when I was five and it was yucky." I have found that I do actually like food now that I thought I didn't like because I think most of my not liking food was a mental thing. In my mind I told myself that it looked bad or smelled bad and therefore was bad. I also started eating more foods because when I went over to Winston's house where his parents made supper, they would give me things I've never had or didn't like and I didn't want to be like "I'm not eating that" so I would just eat it anyway. Finally, on the hair topic. I've always loved red hair. I don't know why. But I am too scared to dye it red right now. I live with the mentality that if it's not broken, don't fix it, and right now I like my hair color. But if I no longer like the way my hair looks, aka. when it goes grey, I will be brave enough to dye it a different color. How do your blogs always make me want to post an entire blog post for a comment? haha. Sorry about that.

  44. Hyeoni says:

    Hello there Justin! Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚
    If you spend 10-15 minutes on the toilet…then there is something wrong. It should be like 2-5 minutes. I one time ate only fruits and veggies for a few weeks and ALL of my stool came out in 5 seconds and I was done wiping in a minute. Sorry to be so graphic. Needless to say it was the most satisfying number 2 I ever did in my life. But I reverted back to my original diet and unless I'm constipating…It's usually only 5 minutes max in the bathroom. My brother eats like crap and he STILL manages to come out under a minute…what the heck? Maybe more fruit and veggie fiber and more water for bulky but looose stool so it comes out in a jiffy! πŸ˜‰

  45. tiff k says:

    HAHAHA LOVELY POST! Oh gosh i love your theory on going to the bathroom as a cure for procrastination. BRILLIANT! hahaha. I actually use my bathroom time for reading XD I especially remember how the bathroom became my comfort zone (coz i don't have my own room) and that's where I read until the wee hours in the morning XD Of course I finished pooping already XD It's just that I liked to stay there and read. Okay LOL XD

    I am linking you back! GREAT NEW DESIGN! πŸ˜€

  46. tiff k says:

    OMG ARE YOU BACK TO BLOGGING?? I just noticed that your last post was 2011 XD I just wanted to ask you if the rollercoaster based on Snow White's song is really true… or were you just joking in your comment on my post…. or i'm just gullible… HAHAHA

  47. Cat says:

    haha, I thought this was a funny post πŸ™‚ I have to admit that I start finding patterns on the wall, too, when I have nothing else to do. I usually bring a book or smartphone with me though!

  48. Debbie says:

    I just sit on the toilet & do nothing, except for an occasional song. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" & the entire score of The Sound Of Music are my favorites!

  49. Muhsin says:

    Oh my god this is so weird. I actually do the same thing too. I read the back of shampoo bottles.. hahahahaha

  50. Matt Harvath says:

    Nice Blog! I will be back often. Love this post. I get so bored in the bathroom!

  51. George says:

    hilarious !!
    That made me laugh a little

  52. Cheeto says:

    And toilets hide weed!

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My name is Justin, and this website is devoted to my many hobbies. From writing and web development to theater and cosplay, I'm always up to something. I haven’t been myself ever since I was born.

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