4 Psychological Benefits of Wasting Time that will Actually Make You More Productive

Coming from an African setting, working hard is considered to be a moral value.

Working extra hard and pushing yourself just a little more is paramount.

Let’s flash back.

Deep in the African interior, it’s the 19th century. A young man, say Kamotho, has just come home from the farm.

He’s in his early twenties, a bachelor. He only has a few minutes to rest before he goes into the thicket to fetch some fire wood for the night meal. Afterwards, he intends to get the livestock from the grazing fields and eventually milk the cows.


That night, he will lay on his bed, thinking of how he can improve on this season’s harvest.

Fast forward to the 20th century, Akinyi has just come from the lake side. With her is a basket filled with fish.

She needs to start preparing them for domestic use and for sale. From there she needs to start preparing for the family’s meal and not long after that, she needs to get the children ready for bed.


As she sleeps during the night, her mind is on the run, thinking of the next day’s events, her children and husband.


This same ‘moral’ is instilled in children.


From school, they have a list of chores; wash the dishes, fetch firewood, draw water from the river and don’t forget to make sure the chicken are closed in when night falls. As they sleep, they think of the pending homework that needs to be done before they get to school the following day.


Let’s not forget the 21st century where in order to make a reasonable earning, you need more than one job and in some cases more than two jobs.

The mentality instilled in us is in order to have that nice car and fancy home, you need to bend over backwards.

Vacations are for the rich and breaks and time off are for the lazy and those aspiring to be poor.


As blogger, things aren’t so different. You always have to be wired as a story teller. Always thinking of your next great post.

Sure, there’s more to life than searching for the next big thing and our next big break. However, the pressure of wanting more and being greater has overtaken our desire to rest.

A good number of us have grown up in this environment.

Where working hard was the bare minimum of having a good life and working extra hard and pushing yourself beyond your threshold is a necessity required to succeed in life.


For many, their minds are on a constant run. Even in their sleep!

And while there is some truth to this ‘moral’, it has created a society where having time to yourself is considered a waste of time.

But what if I told you that wasting time is psychologically beneficial. A matter of life and death. Here’s my opinion as a blogger;

1. It helps you to unwind and reboot.

This century has to be one of the most demanding if not the most demanding.

One is expected to be on their level best. Be creative, be alert and always be ready.

This however is proving to be difficult for many of us because we are worn out and have drained our energy resources and are running on fumes.


It is therefore fundamental to take some time out and unwind in order to boost up on your productivity.

2. Health before wealth.

No amount of money or material things should take priority over our health.

Yet, most people work as hard as they do so that they can have a life of comfort and riches and without having achieved this dream, they hardly take time off for themselves.

This eventually has a toll on their health due to fatigue and exhaustion.

To avoid having health complications, we all need to be selfish with our time once in a while and not do much.


3. Life isn’t a hamster wheel. You need a break.

We can’t always be expected to run like robots.

Once in a while, we run out and need a break. And even though most times this is not considered necessary, consider this, you will be more productive healthy and alive than sick and dead.

4. Builds your creative skills.

Take an example of two engines.

One old and working even in the harshest of conditions without any breaks or servicing and another that is occasionally given a break and often serviced.


It seems to me that the latter will perform better and for a longer period. Right ?

Being in the 21st century, it is paramount that one is always on their A-game.

Always creative, always forthcoming with new and fresh ideas and always innovative.


On the contrary Being on constant working mode tends to minimize the chances of one ever meeting these standards. In other words ‘wasting’ time is a great way to dig into your creative side and bring forth amazing ideas, keep you fresh and always ready.


So the next time you want to take that extra shift, assignment or research remember, a little ‘me time’ can take you a long way.

Take that rip you’ve been thinking of, go on a vacation with family or friends, watch a movie or simply sleep.

It doesn’t matter how you ‘waste time’ as long as it helps you blow some steam off.

Author : Wanjira

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