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3 min read

Finding Value in Being Unproductive

Finding Value in Being Unproductive

It’s hard to not find the irony of me writing a post about being unproductive given the fact that our team has been working around the clock to get LifeStarr products out and into the world for you. However, with all of this productivity, it’s allowed me to truly appreciate and find value in the unproductive moments, because truth be told, without them, my achievements would have never happened in the first place.

We have all gotten so used to the day-to-day hustle and bustle, that we genuinely don’t know what to do with our downtime.

So, I’m here to tell you that downtime is not only OK, it’s actually extremely valuable, you just have to get comfortable with it.

Being Bored Is Not Only OK, It’s Important

Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to go play in your room? While the thought of it often insinuated boredom, the reality is, we all ended up finding something to do, no matter how creative we had to be, and that’s the key, we had to be creative.

 

As we get older, the opportunities to be creative become more and more scarce as our to-do lists continue to grow. We get so into the routine of always having something that needs to be done, that when we have downtime, we fill it with our favorite podcast or mindless TV.

What if instead of filling that space, we allowed our minds to just wander? 

You can have your own innovations and revelations simply by taking the time to explore them. Who knows, maybe you’ve had them for years and they’ve just needed an opportunity to surface.

There’s a reason mindfulness and meditation have gained such popularity over the past few years. I’m not typically a strong advocate one way or another for these types of things (you do you), but it’s hard to ignore the evidence of the benefits these practices provide, including:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Helps you focus
  • Improves self awareness
  • Boosts your mood

There are a plethora of others, but the point is, there seems to be a ton of value to mindfulness and meditation. Far more than you often get when you’re only always “being productive.”

Consider allocating some of your downtime to these practices. You may be amazed at outcomes.

Be Lazy...Sometimes

Have you ever had a day with zero commitments and you start out feeling motivated ready to take on life and conquer all of your to-do items, but hours later find yourself on the couch taking in the next episode of your favorite binge-worthy show? We’ve all been there, and that, my friends, is being lazy (by the way, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it isn’t a constant habit).

It’s OK to give into that temptation every once in a while because it gives your mind a break. We so often feel like we need to be “on” that we frequently risk burnout. Let your mind rest. If you’re working from home right now, take a 30-minute afternoon nap. Let yourself recharge so that when you need to be productive again, you’re ready for it.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Have you noticed that being busy these days has become somewhat of a bragging right? We all have that friend (or are that friend) that meets up for happy hour with the “oh my gosh, I’ve worked 65 hours this week” or the common response to an invite “I wish I could but I’m soooooo busy, I just don’t have time for anything.”

I want you to take a minute and just really let that sink in. Why are those proud and common things to say? If you’re looking for sympathy, you’re likely not going to get it, because it’s likely that the people that you’re talking to are running on the same hamster wheel.

It’s funny because I’ve yet to find somebody who doesn’t strive for a break or vacation, but when they actually get one, they don’t know what to do with it.

Being busy makes us feel productive, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually being productive. Many times, you’re really just working on filler tasks and not focusing on anything that’s really groundbreaking. 

When was the last time you just sat with your thoughts? What did you learn from it?