Why You Don't Have to be Productive All the Time

Most of us feel bad when we spend our time being idle. For the whole duration of my summer vacation, I feel like I didn’t do anything worthwhile. I don’t have classes, I don’t work – I don’t do anything that society deems to be productive. And I still feel bad about it. I notice that most people (including myself) have to be doing something for progression purposes, because if you haven’t improved after a couple of months, you’re getting left behind. I personally feel that I have to be improving almost every day, enough to surprise people that haven’t seen me in a long time, because I am feeling competitive for the past two years. However, maybe we don’t have to be productive all the time. Maybe life is not all about work, improvements, or competition.

So why don’t we have to be productive all the time?

To enjoy natural beauty.

Take the time to be still, be in the present moment, and notice all the things around you. We miss so much beauty by being preoccupied with “important” things, like the hummingbird sucking on a flower’s nectar, the variety of colours and sizes of the tree leaves, the nostalgic smell of burning leaves, the mild sunlight during afternoons, and the warmth of peaceful plants and playful animals. Sometimes it’s not all about the money or achievements. Sometimes we can just be happy with the high vibration of nature itself which nurtures us. Then we would realize that humans are not the centre of the universe indeed.

To allow our bodies to recharge and rejuvenate.

For me, a single semester in college is enough to rob us of our vitality and health, both mentally and physically. Sometimes even emotionally, when we encounter people in our lives with destructive energies. A single semester already gives enough stress to students that vacations are often seen as a blessing. Personally, I think that summer vacations are not spent wisely through working or studying or doing anything with an attitude of responsibility. But that’s just my opinion. We are humans, not robots, and we definitely need time to rest and recharge. However! Being sedentary is still not good, because or bodies might consider us dead so we may look a bit sickly. While we are resting during a vacation, we can also eat healthy food and exercise. Anything that recharges us.

To relax and be happy.

Why feel guilty about being idle if we are happy anyway? There is nothing wrong with afternoon naps, afternoon teas, watching movies, eating soup, gazing at the sun, and playing with puppies. As we grow older, we often forget how to play again like a child. Not exactly playing like being rowdy, but approaching life with a playful attitude. “Doing nothing,” like Christopher Robin said in Winnie-the-Pooh. It doesn’t hurt to not take life too seriously. Be easy on yourself. Because sometimes idleness = happiness. :)

To make more memories with our loved ones.

Most people on their deathbeds regret that they shouldn’t have worked harder, because it lessened their time spent on their loved ones or keeping in touch again with old friends. We all know that time spent with our true friends, old friends, close relatives, or boy/girlfriends is never wasted, because they make us happy. Some people just have a cheering effect on us – like when we have a bad day, or when we are stressed, their presence alone makes you forget everything that has upset you. Spending time with those people, no matter how idle it may seem, has a very powerful effect on our souls.

To make more time for yourself.

Dealing with the demands of society or universities can be very exhausting. Sometimes we even forget who we are because of too much pressure and stress. It’s time that we learn how to love ourselves or to put ourselves first. When vacation comes, your needs should come first. Eat when hungry, sleep when sleepy, and create when your creativity makes you itch. Enjoy your solitude and listen to your emotions. Expressing emotions, even the ugliest of them (like anger) is very self-loving. You show yourself that you are there for yourself. And you don’t have to pressure yourself to do anything productive if you don’t feel like it.


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