The way we are making our lives revolve around our work, we might never reach the end of our checklist. It seems there is always some work to be done, another task to be accomplished. We feel positively guilty about taking time out for ourselves. Even when we allow ourselves the luxury of a lunch break, we are in a hurry to get through it, gulping down our food, the concept of chewing forgotten. And all for what? Just to get back to our desks and staring blankly at computer screens.
The need to be productive has been drilled so deeply into our psyche that we can’t imagine taking time for ourselves without feeling horribly guilty about how we should be working instead. Any activity other than being in front of our computers is considered a wasteful indulgence. We would rather zone out because of being constantly tired rather than giving ourselves a break. What we think of as multitasking, browsing social media as well as working online is, in fact, wasting more amount of time on stuff which could have been done in half the time.
What we think of as wasting time is actually important for our physical and mental well being. Going for a walk, reading a while or going out to get a cup of coffee helps our mind to relax and replenish the energy which is constantly required of us. If we don’t take breaks where we can seriously lay back and relax, we would burn ourselves out. And if all of these reasons are not enough for you to consider taking on a little less work, the next point might hopefully nudge you in the right direction.
The fact is that we don’t even need to work as hard as we think we do. Working less might actually be the way to be more productive than we are. Great men like Dickens, Darwin and Márquez didn’t fill up every waking minute with work, work and more work. Most of their days had only 4 to 5 working hours. But those 5 hours were all about working. No web surfing on the side you see. If you think about it, the more time you have, the more you seem to spend on working. Sometimes things you do in 6 hours can also be done in just 2 hours and just as well. But the notion that we have to do it in 6 hours makes us slow or distracted.
Work is important, but even more important is to manage our time so that we also get an equal amount of rest. Recharging is necessary and not a waste as many would like to believe.