There’s a lot to be said for being labeled as a workaholic. After all, we generally get a lot more done than everyone else.
However, speaking from my own experience, I might be a workaholic out of necessity rather than by choice. After all, since I am not married and have no kids, there’s nobody else to rely on but me. If I want or need something done I have to do it myself.
Since I recently moved there’s so much to do at home and with work that I waste very little time. Normally that’s fine because it keeps me motivated. But it can become a problem when I can’t turn work off while on vacation or a weekend break.
Do you have that same problem? There are actually a few good reasons wasting time can make you more productive.
Allows Your Brain to Rest
One very good reason wasting time can make you more productive is that it lets your brain rest. When you’re constantly working you never get a chance to switch off.
Wasting time doing something that requires very little complex thinking can make you more productive. Your mind gets to, “take a vacation”, so to speak, and do something fun.
Obviously some people prefer to take an actual vacation instead. But sometimes you can’t get away from work to take a real vacation.
That’s where wasting time can become an actual benefit. Then, once you’re back at work you’ll find you can tackle projects with enthusiasm and finish them faster.
I’ve had a lot on my plate at home since moving to a new city and state. I’ve been working on both interior and exterior updates to improve my home.
To keep things budget friendly I like to DIY. But I’ve had to problem solve a few things that were challenging.
For instance, I needed new canned lights over my kitchen sink. But I didn’t really want to buy new ones because they would have to be rewired. Since I know zero about that, I wasn’t sure what to do.
So, I stepped away from that problem for a night and watched a little TV. The next day I got the idea of painting the fixtures that are already there. A couple of cans of inexpensive white spray paint later and the yellowed lights are as good as new.
In this case, wasting time sparked my creativity so I could figure out a budget friendly solution. This method works well when you are at work too. The next time you find you’re stewing over a problem, try wasting time to be more productive.
Gives Your Body Rest
When you waste time you’re not only allowing your brain to rest you’re giving your body rest too. If you work hard constantly you’ll eventually wear yourself down.
If you are worn thin from working too much you’ll be more susceptible to illnesses. Then you’ll end up taking off work simply because you’re too sick to keep going.
Instead, build some time-wasting activities into your schedule. If you have a hard time doing that, use your calendar to actually schedule it in.
For instance, schedule “watching TV” or “reading a book” on your calendar before bed in the evening. This will help you unwind, sleep better, and be more productive the next day.
Sticking to a schedule can be tough for some people, so send yourself calendar reminders if you’re one of them. Then, after you’ve had a rest away from work, you’ll come back feeling refreshed physically. The result should be that you work faster and more productively.
As a single, self-employed entrepreneur, I can’t afford to get burnt out in my job. That’s why taking “do nothing” breaks now and then are important to me. They help me refresh so I can attack my work with energy.
In order to take such breaks and prevent burnout, though, I sometimes have to turn down extra client work. Even though extra work means extra pay, I just have to say no from time to time.
That allows me to do a better job on the work I’ve already agreed to. Plus, I get it done quicker since I am not completely burnt out.
Boosts Your Mood
When you are working a lot with seemingly no end in sight it can make you wonder why you do it. Work should not be all there is in your life. The very idea is kind of depressing.
On the other hand, going out, having fun, and wasting time boosts your mood. You create memories and good times to help you get through those periods of intense work.
Personally, after a fun weekend or vacation, I find that I attack work with a better attitude. Even if I’m tired from having fun it’s a different kind of tired from being work tired.
So, once I am back to work I am usually energized and raring to go. This speeds me up so I get more done in less time.
Lowers Stress Levels
Work stress can slow you down almost without you even realizing it is happening. Your work quality goes down and your income could go down with it.
Even worse, you could start losing customers which only adds to your stress levels. To combat stress levels, give yourself a break. Waste some time doing an activity you really like. Your stress will decrease and at the same time, you’ll get more done each day.
Reminds You of Goals
Believe it or not, wasting time can remind you of the goals you’ve set. You don’t want to lose sight of those because they’re your reasons for pressing on each day.
Staying motivated towards reaching goals is easy when things hum along without a hitch. But you can lose sight of goals when things get a bit bumpy. You end up working so much you don’t have time to pay attention to attaining your goals.
Wasting time lets you reflect on your goals and change them if necessary. It also allows you to refocus on them and change your direction if you aren’t making progress on your goals.
Gains You New Skills
Spending time on a hobby might be labeled by some as wasting time. But it might also help you to learn new skills.
For example, you might learn how to create social media posts as a hobby or start a blog. This kind of time-wasting activity could pay off in greater productivity in your work. You might learn something new while wasting time to make you more productive.
Helps You Keep Your Friends
If you wonder why your friends are avoiding you it could be because you’ve avoided them. When you turn them down one too many times they may eventually start doing the same to you.
Go out with them and have a good time. Let your hair down a little. Jumping back into work will be easier once you’ve had time to relax and have some fun. What’s more, wasting time in this way can have big benefits in stress relief that make you more productive.
Many people have a dim view of wasting time. But as you can see, there are some clear benefits that can make you more productive.