I know this might sound weird but productivity doesn’t always look like productivity. For example, sleeping, staring aimlessly out the window, or just laying on your couch watching Netflix. None of those things look like you’re being productive. And I’m sure, if done in excess, of course, it’s not. But in moderation, I think it can be really productive, if not essential.
Speaking from personal experience, I'm always better with a good night’s worth of sleep. Staring out the window is actually how I get most of my ideas, and I love watching Stranger Things, it just makes me happy. If I don't allow myself downtime, I might be able to get a little more work done, but I will eventually get burnt out. It's happened before.
I don’t think productivity always needs to look like “hustle”. No downtime. No sleep. Running around 24/7. You’re ALWAYS busy. There’s more to “putting in work” than just what looks like work. Like, I don’t know, having a nice conversation with a friend, taking a nap, or spending the afternoon at the beach.
Without a more accurate definition of productivity, we can’t ever really replenish our minds. Our brains become dull and any attempt to relax and enjoy ourselves is coupled with a deep sense of guilt that we should be working harder. It doesn’t help that we all have smartphones and are constantly tethered. It’s almost like they are using us… but that’s a whole other conversation.
Perhaps, next time you grab coffee with a friend, stay up late watching Netflix, or just spend the afternoon playing frisbee with your dog you can feel good about yourself for being, as I like to call it, “productively unproductive.”
by Jason Lam