Amidst all the things that we have to do in one day, and with the huge recent global focus on being productive and making the most out of your time, we seem to be forgetting one very important aspect of keeping productivity and our work output at a high level – wasting time. Yep, you read that right. Wasting time is important – no, it is crucial to getting things done.
As much as we success-minded people value our time (the single greatest finite resource), our obsession of optimizing it to the absolute maximum can actually detract from the amount of overall work we get done. How? Well, as opposed to what they say, you should not be giving it your 100% all the time as this will ultimately lead to one of two things: you lose passion or your burnout. Both of these are very bad for business and for success.
Really, to stay productive you have to give time for times of unproductivity as well. You need those few minutes every now and then to just slack off and let your mind wander and lead you onto Facebook, YouTube, and the likes.
It’s very easy to give your 100%, but what’s harder is to be able to give your 80% at 100% of the time. Functioning optimally isn’t at all about functioning at your peak. It is about being able to find the balance where you are able function at an above average level, but where that level is sustainable.
To do this, slacking off is necessary every now and then, but in controlled, monitored ways. A good example of this comes from productivity expert Eben Pagan, who says to abide by the 50 – 10 rule. For every fifty minutes of productive work, take ten minutes to let your mind wander onto various non-work related subjects.
So the next time at work, if your boss or manager catches you slacking, tell him you are doing it in the name of productivity. Or perhaps you should have asked permission in advance first.