A colleague of mine forwarded an article entitled “The psychological importance of wasting time”, urging me to read it. Blasphemy – waste time? I don’t have enough time in my day…how can I afford to waste any? The truth, however, is that we all waste time throughout the day and there is a way to waste time AND benefit from it!
The author makes the point that we take breaks throughout the day, but they are not real breaks. Sitting at one’s desk reading and responding to email is not a break. Catching up on social media is not a break. Online shopping is not a break. While those activities could be a break from our busy working or parenting lives, can you honestly say that you’re not toggling over to see if any new emails have popped up in your inbox? Can you honestly say that you’re not perusing an article that could be helpful in your workplace? What about that outfit you’re shopping for? Perfect for the next conference or meeting? Work has its way of creeping into our “break time”, doesn’t it?
I am definitely guilty of wasting time inefficiently. In a time crunch, I can knock out several projects AND clean off and organize my mail and my desk! Given a full day, however – it takes the full day and then some. It is kind of like a purse or bag. The bigger the bag, the more you can and do put in it. If I finished my work projects efficiently, I could take a real break by walking around the block, or flipping through a magazine, or sipping a cup of tea.
I now pass along the wisdom from this article to you, and urge you to find ways to waste time. Wasting time is for re-charging. Years ago I promised myself that I would bring sneakers to work and take a walk each day. It has yet to happen even just once. Maybe now that the weather is so glorious, I should actually do it.