Are you a Type A, super organized, goal-crusher who feels guilty for relaxing? Do you wish you could enjoy watching mindless television 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 simple ways I find time to relax each day. Anyone can seamlessly incorporate these solutions into their daily lives.
Blocking Out Time
Each week, I block out stretches of time on my calendar where I don’t plan to do anything but unwind. No social obligations, chores, etc.
Having an evening ritual like taking a bath at night before bedtime is a great way to routinely include breaks into your schedule.
Simplifying To-Do Lists
Breaking up a to-do list into more manageable pieces allows there to be more time during the day. Ask yourself, does this really need to be done today?
Invest in Services
Invest in services that can free up your time. Instead of spending 5 hours deep cleaning my home every other week, I hire a cleaning service to save me time. You could also order items online instead of making trips to stores or order groceries for delivery. Find services that can help free up your schedule from time-consuming tasks.
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 efficiently. Remember that sometimes doing nothing is the most productive thing we can do.