In this era of Internet taking over our daily routines, remote work tools, and tricks to boost productivity, it’s hard not to compare us with those influencers effortlessly juggling a million things in a day. We’re bombarded with channels and blogs preaching about the latest productivity hacks and habit-building strategies. It seems like we’ve developed this insatiable urge to constantly be doing something meaningful.
Some of us long for the end of the day, hoping to feel like we’ve accomplished something meaningful. We may have meticulously planned our day, setting no more than five tasks on our agenda. Yet, as the 8-hour workday unfolds, we find ourselves only able to make progress on one of those tasks. We desire to complete the remaining four, but today we feel drained. We’re tempted to procrastinate, but procrastination isn’t an option for a “productive individual.”
You must set your goals. You must achieve those goals and then set even bigger ones. You must do more. You must program yourself. You chastise yourself if you fail to accomplish something. You are incredibly demanding with yourself. There are no limits. The only limit is exhaustion, which prevents us from being able to “do.” And it turns out that life is what happens between one goal and another.
I’m not saying that organizing yourself, setting goals, and measuring your progress in order to become a better professional, person, or student is wrong. Just don’t let the destinations become eternal while the journey fades away by the time you reach your destination.
Life is what happens between one goal and another.
Let’s not enslave ourselves to our own goals. Allow yourself to fail. Allow yourself to take the afternoon off. Move your tasks to the next week on Friday and have Saturday and Sunday free. Value rest, because it is the complement to truly being “productive.” It will give us the energy to achieve what we want and give us the opportunity to try again the next day.
Value the act of doing nothing. Take a moment to sit, breathe, observe the sky, the trees, the garden, the horizon. Listen to yourself and the sounds of the city in the morning or at night. Don’t even try to use that time to generate ideas. Just do nothing. Embrace “non-productivity.”