Sometimes life is a blur. It goes by so fast that we do not realise that we have no entry to write down in our book of memoirs. This could be due to the fact that we try to work 24×7. Our routines are so never-ending and pre-set that we have no time to let our hair down and relax.
What is actually worse about this whole scenario is that such a routine is NOT necessary to be ideally productive and efficient. It is just our programming that has gone haywire. We do not spend time in unwiring our robotic selves and thus, we end up sitting up working more number of hours and days than what is ideally required.
A survey polled 1989 full-time office workers in the UK revealed that people were actually productive for ‘2 hours and 53 minutes’ during an 8-hour working day.
The rest of the time was spent discussing out of work activities with colleagues, checking social media, reading news websites, making food in office – and even searching for new jobs amongst others.
It is believed that those like Charles Darwin and his ilk did not work more than five hours a day. Still, see how productive and useful he was!
In a post titled as ‘Darwin was a slacker and you should be too,’ Alex Soojung-Kim Pan made a point that ‘Scientists who spent 25 hours in the workplace were no more productive than those who spent five.’
This is because those like him had mastered the tact of being able to rejuvenate their tired selves and then get back to their work with renewed vigour. Such people just know when to unwind, when to let go, and take a break. All said and done, we are the blessed species called humans. We are not robots who can go on and on and still be able to go on some more till our machinery goes amiss.
“Work on one thing at a time until finished,” wrote writer and artist Henry Miller. “Stop at the appointed time! Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.”
Some of us take time out for a cuppa coffee at night before we turn in to ruminate over the day’s events. It is a common belief that this is a very therapeutic exercise – that it helps us go over what we did right, where we may have gone wrong, and all this ends up making our future pursuits better. Others feel this is time wasted – we could have done a bit more work.
However, this is sheer cruelty. In a similar vein, it would not be correct to say that any time we spend doing things with those we care for, is time wiled away into nothingness. There are hundreds of people all across the world who term ‘time off’ as a luxury. It is not what they feel one can afford. They would rather be clocking time at work non-stop.
What we should open our eyes to is not that what counts is the number of hours you spend working – it is how productive you were even if you spend less time working. And productivity depends a lot on the energy and the vibe you give to your work.
This, in turn, is a quotient of your mental and physical health and well-being – which becomes better when you tend to recharge your batteries by taking these ‘breaks’.
Taking breaks is crucial and holds a significant importance in our working timeline. But what we do at times is we refuse to take a break, because we tend to think that it will somehow affect the resultant despite putting efforts every now and then.
We overlook experiencing the moments we chased rather keep on chasing the productivity, meanwhile forgetting that our brains ask for ideation period.
This ideation period many a time comes when we take a real break. Think of the last time you planned a trip to go to a place where the first thought that resonates with your planning is peace. Those refreshing vibes that you look for are to rejuvenate your brain pickings so that nothing goes conventional all the time and you manage to come up with creative ideas time and again. And to continue performing at high level.
If we do keep aside a few hours, a few days, to enroll for that qi energy session, a trek with our children down the city’s park, or taking our mother to an ashram for a detox course; or for anything that will get us a genuine smile on our visage – is TIME WELL SPENT.
There’s a talk that goes around work-life balance, it so happens most of the time that we do not try to consider the psychological importance of the term ‘balance’, and that’s where we lose the essence of grabbing the potential of becoming productive as well as the idea of reviving happiness. If you feel the need of striking a balance between work and life, here’s how you can.
Also, this will make you realise how the time bell tolls. It is your connect with nature; your chord with your inner self; your link with those you are truly close to. In this manner, you can actually sync your energies with what you wish for.
And this will never be time wasted. It will, in fact, be a time which gains you the propelling gush to power your upcoming sojourns.
There’s that sweetness, you realise, of doing nothing.
(With inputs from Ayush Garg).
Hey, there? This article has been picked to be republished with slight edits under the ‘Best of TNT’ series. It is a step further for the content to be contagious to make it counted yet again and for the ones who missed it!
Crafted with brevity for select stories to make certain you see what others don't; sent every Friday
Two exclusive fortnightly newsletters, sent on Saturday alternately
a) Reel and Real with Rony Patra
b) Mixer with Ayush Garg