Life can be so busy and stressful. Finding time for yourself sometimes feels likes a luxury which you cannot afford. Occasionally, it may seem that a miracle has happened since you managed to find time to relax. Shortly after, guilt feelings start to take over and you start thinking about all the different things you still need to do. Your brain tells you to get up and carry on with what you are supposed to be doing. Feeling guilty when you relax is normal when you are used to having an endless list of things to do each day. Nonetheless, it is important to find time to relax and to enjoy the moment. Doing nothing may seem like a waste of time however, it may be what you need.
When you spend so long trying to be productive, you might end up not taking a real break. Sleeping in, going for a long walk or reading a book may seem like a waste of time. Although you might be feeling tired or stressed out, you put pressure onto yourself to continue working. However, if you’re exhausted productivity will decrease. You might end up sitting at your desk, looking at the computer and browsing websites realising that you have been anything but productive. Ever heard the phrase “you get more done when you work less?” If you think about it, when you are constrained with a timeframe you might be more focused as you know that your time is limited and therefore you need to get the work done. On the contrary, if you have endless hours to finish your work procrastination is more likely to occur.
Wasting time helps you to recharge your batteries and to de-clutter your mind. Taking time to do nothing productive will help you to relax and after doing so you can go back to focusing and working. When you can relax and enjoy yourself, you will probably feel a sense of fulfilment. This happens because you can take care of yourself, enjoy the moment and not feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Obviously, a balance between being productive and being able to relax needs to achieved. So whenever you feel tired and decide to stop and do nothing, go ahead and enjoy doing so!
Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties.