Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Downtime

A friend and I were talking today about pressure, especially the pressure to be constantly busy, doing, achieving. As a human being I need rest, and as a writer I need a certain amount of downtime for the creative gears to turn. But we've been trained to view rest and downtime as laziness, procrastination, wasting time.

There has to be a middle ground between wasting time and burnout. I happen to believe that much of what we call "goofing off" is actually necessary rest and recreation. We haven't been taught to value this downtime; we're encouraged to be workaholics. We keep doing studies that show that we need more sleep, but we keep structuring our society to give ourselves less sleep. We schedule ourselves from morning to night. If we sneak in breaks, we feel horribly guilty over what we "might have done" with that time.

But we're not robots, and there is more to life than producing output 24/7.

It's okay--even essential--to take a break now and then.

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