In my last video, you can see me trying to make this argument that I just have to avoid taking a break at all costs, but finally, I just felt this need for a break was building up and building up, and for about three days in a row, I would start to go into it in the afternoon, and then I’d kind of pull myself back, and I went back again the next day, and just this desire to just completely forget about anything useful and just waste my time for a while.
Now, because I’ve wasted so much time in my life, and part of the motivation for even starting this project is that I want to live a more meaningful life, I don’t want to be wasting my time, so I was really afraid to let any time-wasting happen, feeling that somehow it would lead to this slippery slope into complete time-wasting, indolence, apathy, this kind of dull stupor of doing nothing.
But after this third day of going in and then pulling myself back, I finally said OK, there’s no point in me trying to just keep pushing myself against this wall.
It is time for me to take a real break, and let myself just stop being productive.
And it was only after I did this that I realized how much for weeks I had been in this purely productive mode, where everything that I was doing had to be somehow productive.
And I’ve never had that level of dedication and focus before, and I guess I was starting to think that this is the new normal, that I could just be diving into this just like an obsession, like having a project to work on and then putting all your energy into it: it is a wonderful feeling, so I was just going with that.
And this feeling of efficiency, this feeling of celebrating that I was being so productive and useful with my time: it started to get to the point where even my downtime became productive time.
So OK, I need to take a break.
I can’t be doing the same thing forever.
So in my downtime I can be doing something else that’s useful.
So hey, the weekend: I can use that time to clean my apartment, maybe cook some food.
And, you know, my meal times became my break times, because then I would stop working for a while, cook, eat, clean up, and this would be my break time.
But then all other time that was not needed for some kind of routine chores, or sleeping, exercising, then it was all in work, all in the project.
Now, this has some wonderful aspects to it.
It is so fun and engaging to be involved all the way in on a project.
Instead of this kind of punching the clock, you know, I’ll work the minimum number hours I have to and then get to my free time: that’s a sad way to have a work life, where we’re just counting down the time till it’s done.
But I was taking it too far, to the point where I just didn’t have any non-productive time anymore.
I started to become a productivity machine.
And when I finally took that break, it really hit me how much I’d gone into this mindset without even realizing it.
I was letting that kind of hyper-productive, focused, driven mindset just completely take over my life, and just saying, well, this is naturally a good thing.
It’s good to be driven to this extreme degree.
You know, what’s wrong with that? And so I wasn’t holding myself back, until finally I just had that feeling of- the demand was welling up inside me: you need to take a break.
Just stop thinking about this project.
Stop being productive.
There’s something so powerful about simply not needing to be productive at all times.
Simply being OK with- you could say wasting time, and yet there’s no time that’s 100% wasted, because our downtime- this kind of downtime is part of life.
It’s part of a complete life, and it’s a part that I have been neglecting for a while.
Because in my younger days I was too far into that mode, all about wasting time, and not enough about actually doing useful work.
So I went overboard into useful work, and now I’m starting to appreciate again this value of downtime.
So the trick is, how can we enjoy this and make it part of a complete life instead of being drawn to one extreme or the other, to being hyper-productive or just completely apathetic and time-wasting? So now going into this next stage of working out this balance.
So I’d be curious to hear from you: what is this like for you, this balance between being productive and allowing yourself to have downtime? Are you more like I was for most of my life and just celebrating downtime whenever possible? Or are you like I’ve been in the past several weeks, and been hyper-productive, maybe even to the point where it becomes counterproductive? I’d like to hear how it’s going for you.
#needabreak #toomuchwork #unproductivetime