We live in a busy world where we’re constantly answering to someone or something. So when we find ourselves wasting time, whether it’s procrastinating on an assignment or watching too much Netflix, we beat ourselves up about it. What if wasting time had its value, though? What if the whole concept of wasting time wasn’t such a waste after all?
Merlin Mann, the founder of the “Inbox Zero,” an email system meant to help you stay organized, was interviewed by the Guardian. He insisted that we shouldn’t be so quick to write off these activities that are generally considered to be a waste of time. In fact, we should put more time and effort into taking a break and doing the very things that may seem like wasting time.
Napping, taking a walk outside, flipping through your favorite magazine—these are all activities that can actually contribute to your overall productivity. Michael Guttridge, a psychologist who focuses on workplace behavior, agreed with Mann.
“It’s hard to break out of that and go to the park,” he continued. But when we bog ourselves down with so much work and put pressure on ourselves to always be involved with something, not only do we end up stressed, but we don’t get nearly as much done.
What we call multitasking can easily turn into a true waste of our time. We scroll through Facebook while we respond to that email while we finish up our lunch at our desk. It would be much better to take a minute, go for a stroll around the block, and clear our heads.
Guttridge thinks we’d all be better off if we scheduled some time aside for relaxation or procrastination, because in the end, we’ll be more productive at our jobs. So close your laptop for a second and soak up the sun.