Summary: We schedule our days, we have to-do lists, and we try to get as much done as we possibly can.
In our current American culture, we put a great deal of pride in being busy and productive. We schedule our days, we have to-do lists, and we try to get as much done as we possibly can. Many people take on second jobs or entrepreneurial projects on top of full-time jobs, others work long hours every week, and even the people with a 40-hour work week will take on projects around the house, schedule activities, or get involved in other organizations to fill up their time. However, what if binge-watching a TV show or lying around on a lounge chair outside was a healthier way to spend your time?
Many of us have so much on our plates that we feel guilty taking any time just to relax and be unproductive. Many of us end up sitting at our laptops finding things to “work on” and even multitasking when, truthfully, we aren’t really being productive, we just feel like we need to be doing something. We see relaxing as “wasting” time but, in reality, wasting time is good for our mental health.
Did you know that the amount of time it takes for us to get something done changes based on the amount of time we give ourselves? In other words, we can get the same amount of work done in less time if we give ourselves less time to do that work. When you were in school, did you ever notice that you got more done when you were also playing a sport during the school year? When you had less time to study, you used that time more efficiently. You may even notice this at work, on days where you have a lot to get done but you also have meetings that you need to attend. If we simply give ourselves a shorter amount of time to be productive and make more time to relax, we’ll often still get the same projects finished.
Recognizing this fact will help alleviate some of the guilt you feel when you take time away to just be lazy and relax and being lazy and relaxing are key to allowing your batteries to recharge. If you don’t give your brain a break, you’ll start to feel overworked, stressed and have a harder time focusing. Allowing yourself to “waste time” is essential to decluttering your mind and being proud of taking that time will make it even more enjoyable and relaxing because you’ll allow yourself to fully submerge your mind in the relaxation, rather than letting it run through everything else you could be doing.
So do yourself a favor and schedule in some time to just relax and know that you’re helping yourself be more productive in the long run.
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