The Best Tip for Being Productive Throughout Your Day
Yup. It's another post about how to have a productive day. Funny thing is, what should you be doing right now instead of reading this post? You probably have an overflowing to-do list and a schedule booked out for days, or weeks.
But you know what? I'm not actually going to scold you. Because the purpose of this post is to explain how scheduling LAZY TIME is actually the best way to be productive.
Don't believe me? Read on...
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If you're like me, you've read all the books, listened to all the podcasts and TED Talks, and scoured every blog post or article on the best productivity tips and hacks out there.
And it's all great, in theory. In practice, a lot of it is much harder to maintain day in and day out. At least in my opinion.
But there is one thing that I have found that has helped me, and my evil, procrastinating ways:
Scheduling lazy time.
You see... I have planners, and apps, and programs, and spreadsheets. I've built systems and routines. But the one thing that destroys all of that is my "I just don't want to" feeling that I get, more often than I'd like to admit.
I can have a kick ass, super productive morning, or maybe even a whole day. But then I get burned out. I really just want to veg for a while and play the stupid game on my phone that I'm addicted to. Or watch the next episode of that show I'm obsessed with. Or read a little bit of that book.
But my to-do list and the daily schedule in my planner tell me that I can't.
I don't like being told that I can't.
So do you know what I do? I schedule it in. If it's in my planner, then I'm no longer being told that I can't. Now I'm being told "it's time to relax."
How to Schedule Downtime
It seems simple, right? Just schedule a block of time to be lazy or to spend time doing something you really enjoy, that will help you relax or recharge.
But there are a few things to think about ahead of time, to make sure you don't let your day get away from you.
- Decide what you will do with your lazy time AHEAD of time. Make the best use of your lazy time by spending it doing the ONE thing that will relax and remotivate you. Be specific. Scrolling through Facebook aimlessly is very different than checking in with your favorite Facebook group. You want to make sure you are treating yourself to something that you will enjoy and appreciate and not just wasting time for the sake of wasting time.
- Set a timer. Seriously, set a timer and stick with it. If I tell myself I'll "just read one chapter"... I will NEVER just read one chapter. This plan only works if you don't lose your whole day.
- Work HARD between breaks. Know that your next break is only ______ minutes or hours away and push yourself through to the next one. This is the same idea as having a "cheat day" during a diet. You are much more likely to stay strong on your "diet days" when you know you can eat whatever you want on your "cheat day."
Try it out and see how it goes. I would bet that your work time is going to be a lot more productive when you have something fun and relaxing to look forward to... guilt free.
What do you think? Is scheduling lazy time a good idea? Or a gateway drug to just... being lazy? Let me know in the comments!