The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I could conceivably clean, cook, organize and generally work on my house every waking moment and never, ever run out of stuff to do.
Yes my house is big, but it’s not monstrous. There’s just one bathroom to clean, (this is the positive spin with which I choose to view the just one bathroom issue) and most of our everythings have a place to go.
But if I prioritized being productive over quality of life, I would never find the time to snuggle with my children or take a walk with a friend on a sunny day.
Which is why I value non-productivity.
Leaving the dinner dishes out so that I can watch a movie with the kids; allow the piano to grow a layer of dust so I can visit with a friend.
This may sound like I’m shirking my duties, but I’m really not. Everyone has clean clothes, food in their belly and money in the bank. I work two to three days per week as a labor and delivery nurse, and I stretch the dollars so that I can have time to goof off.
It may look from the outside like I’m just bone lazy.
But I hardly think I’ll lie on my deathbed and be thinking about my shiny kitchen floors and super-organized paperwork. No. I hope that I’ll feel I’ve spent my time on the people and activities I love.
I can certainly push my whirling dervish button and demonstrate a style of productivity to rival Martha Stewart’s. (And I do this about once a week.) But I have zero interest in maintaining this pace. I’d rather be the mom who walked slowly to the library and then snuggled up with a kid while watching a movie.
You can have your to-do lists, I’ll be upstairs. But shh . . . I may be taking a nap.
Five Things You Can Do Today To Support A Non-Productive Lifestyle
- Allow yourself to just say no to demands on your time. It’s perfectly okay to prioritize downtime.
- Accept a less than perfect house. Keeping your house clean at all times is not a natural state. My dining room is currently decorated by some half-finished art projects and a scattering of felt tips. This is okay, as it means actual people who engage in actual activities live here.
- Practice Conscious Frugality. The less money you spend, the less you need to earn. This frees up time and energy; and helps you from getting burned out at work.
- Join The Compact. (Buy nothing new.) By stepping away from autopilot consumerism, you free yourself from the unwinnable competition with the Joneses.
- Choose one day per week to dedicate to accomplishing as little as possible. This is not the day to finish projects or run errands. Sleep in, read novels and simply — relax.
Are you a go-go-go whirlwind of activity? Do you allow yourself time to do the things that give you pleasure? Do you wait for your one vacation per year to actually read a novel? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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