Why It’s Okay To Be Unproductive Right Now…
“Learn a new language… pick up a new hobby… get fit… bake… cook… be creative”
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen a LOT of ‘stay productive while at home’ content across social media. Everyone seems to be doing 5k runs for charity, going outside to exercise everyday, baking, redecorating, and staying positive all the time. While it’s great to see this sense of online community, this motivation to spend your time doing fun stuff, it can be overwhelming. What if I don’t want to bake banana bread? What if I don’t want to stick to my normal routine and keep getting up at 6am? What if I just want to sleep and binge-watch Netflix shows? Is that okay?
Short Answer: yes
I need not remind you that we are in a global pandemic. Most of us can’t see most of the people we care about. Some people are losing jobs, some people are working 24/7 putting their health at risk as essential workers, some people are losing loved ones.
For those of us staying at home, I’m sure we all feel bored, scared, hopeless. I’m sure we all feel this need to spend our time wisely; to catch up on work, to read more, to work out, to complete the 4th Instagram challenge that you’ve been tagged in this week, etc. The ‘Always On’ work culture is a productivity phenomenon that shows that ever since our careers have become connected to technology, and technology has become ever-accessible, humans have this innate drive to always be productive, to never switch off. Usually, this comes in the form of checking your work emails on your phone even when you’re at home, still engaging in work when you’re ‘off-the-clock’. But now with the majority of people working from home, it’s almost impossible to find a balance between our productive hours and our unproductive hours. But it’s so important to realise that staying home during this crisis is not ‘extra time’ that you need to fill, it’s merely a change in location in order to stay safe and healthy. So prioritise your health – not just physically, but mentally too. As long as you’re doing the work you absolutely have to do (assignments, exams, etc.), you don’t need to fill any extra time with productive tasks!
So the next time you feel guilty for sleeping in late, watching one too many episodes, or not feeling like you want to go running, don’t. Don’t feel guilty for being unproductive in a time like this. Stop expecting so much of yourself when we are all already going through so much.
If you are one of those people who genuinely wants to pick up all these new hobbies and skills, have fun! But if you’re doing it purely because you feel like you have to, put the workout gear down and take a nap, it’ll be more helpful in the long run.
As always, stay safe ♥