Society nowadays is extremely fast-paced. We fill our schedules with endless meetings, tasks, and appointments. Every minute needs to be spent doing something, whatever it may be. If you are a student, after class you should be working on your next project or practically starting your own business. If you work, you need to be connected to your job 24/7 no matter what else is going on in your life. We live plugged in and we cannot stop to breathe...or so it seems.
We are always expected to be doing an activity, to keep our brains going at all times of day, and to be productive every waking hour. This is what society has taught us. Everything is designed to make it seem like your worth and your value go down if you are not being productive. For some reason, unproductivity or moments of rest equal laziness, worthlessness, or even carelessness. Why is this the case? How did we decide productivity was to be our main priority?
More and more individuals find themselves dealing with anxiety and stress due to the amount of tasks they have decided they must accomplish. It is apparently not enough to go to class and do your homework. Or go to work and do your 25 to 40 hours, depending on your part-time or full-time position. We need to do more, be more, create more. Always more. Which has led to the development of unhealthy habits that have harmed our way of living.
The reality is that we cannot be productive at all hours of the day. We cannot spend every waking moment connected to our phones or computers checking our emails, working on our next project, or fulfilling a task. It is not healthy. It is not a good way of living. So, it is okay to take a step back and do nothing once in a while.
It is time we change our way of thinking. Unproductivity does not equal laziness or worthlessness. It does not mean that you do not care about your future. It does not mean you are not trying your best. It simply means that in that moment you need to take a break. You need to unplug from the constant flow of work to take care of yourself or simply breathe. We all need to have moments like that. Moments in which we just exist without running from errand to errand.
If you tend to overwork yourself because you believe productivity is the ultimate goal, stop and listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to rest and when you need to take time for yourself. Do not worry about what others may say if they see you doing “nothing." They do not know what goes on in your life, how hard you have worked, and the tasks you have dedicated time to. Periods of resting are necessary!
As a society, we need to learn to give ourselves a break. It is okay to do as many things as we can during our class or our work hours, but it is also okay to stop when that time is up. It is okay to spend time watching TV, playing sports, reading a book, or doing your favorite hobby. Take the time to take care of yourself. Unproductivity can also be good.