Are you a Type A, super organized, goal-crusher who feels guilty for relaxing? Do you wish you could enjoy watching mindless television and ignoring all texts, emails, and phone calls for a few hours without feeling bad about it? Instead, feelings of anxiety creep in the second you have a few minutes to unwind. You start thinking about all the other productive things you could be checking off your list.
Things like doing a few loads of laundry, getting a head start on that work project, answering a few more emails, or Marie Kondo-ing a closet…
Everyone feels guilty at some time or another for putting off things they could be doing. I felt guilty one day this week for sleeping in an extra hour and not using that time to get things done. It has taken a conscious effort to learn how to enjoy my downtime.
Constant Productivity Can Lead to Burnout
The thing is, there will always be something that needs to get done. But if we continue at this pace without carving out time for real breaks, then eventually we burnout. When we burnout, we lose interest and enthusiasm for the things that once brought us joy. Our creativity and innovation suffer. And we feel stuck on a hamster wheel of exhaustion with no exit route. Now does that sound productive?
Powering through our to-do lists, setting goal after goal and never leaving time to recharge is hurting us. We are constantly checking boxes without allowing ourselves a moment to breathe and gain perspective.
Finding Time To Relax
There are a few things I find helpful:
- Blocking times during the week and weekend where I don’t plan to do anything.
- Evening rituals i.e. taking baths at night before bed
- Breaking up my to-do list into more manageable pieces allowing more time to relax each day.
- Investing in and using services that free up my time. Cleaning services, grocery delivery, ordering things online saving trips to a store, etc.
- If I need a break, I ask myself if these items need to be done this second or can I do them at another time?
It’s time to stop feeling guilty for taking a break. This precious time off is refueling our tank so we can hit those goals, come up with creative ideas and get things done. Remember the next time you feel guilty for relaxing, that sometimes doing nothing is the most productive thing we can do.