There is this pervasive belief that if you aren’t being productive, you are wasting your time. And nothing good comes from wasting your time, right?
There are hundreds of blogs that want to show you how to be more productive. They will say things like spending your time on Twitter or Facebook is a bad thing. And it is, if you are a business trying to push your minions of employees to further your goal.
It is, if your job is pushing buttons or pulling levers on a production line.
But what if your job entails a bit of creative or artistic license? Can being overly productive kill the creative process? What about growth? Can becoming a mini-production factory actually thwart future work?
I believe it does. I believe we need mini-vacations from all jobs that aren’t designed for lever pullers and button pushers.
Almost every project that I begin, ends with at least a week of being unproductive. I may tend to my much neglected house, research and begin a new hobby, read a book, discover new music, cook new recipes or simply sit still.
I used to feel guilty for doing this. I don’t anymore.
Because in my non-production times, I formulate new ideas, and my personal philosophies grow, and when I come back, I am more focused on the act of producing. I find that my job doesn’t define me. I define my job.
So, the next time you are feeling guilty because your production levels have fallen short; when you wake up knowing that you aren’t feeling it, when you are beating your head in trying to produce something and can’t (for whatever reason), embrace that unproductive moment and look for inspiration in a place that has absolutely nothing to do with your “job”.
Production is important. But non-production is equally important. It’s those periods in which we aren’t doing things that the best ideas come from and the realization of who we are in relation to the world arise.
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