It is not rare that I hear: “I will rest once I die” when I tell someone to calm down and take a break. While I admire their dedication, I try and remind such people that if they do not rest, they will die. If they want to achieve things, if they want to live, they do need to rest.
It can be hard sometimes to stop and take some time for ourselves in this crazy world of “rush, rush, rush”, but in the end it is you who makes the decision to get off the one-way train or stay on the express to hell.
The “P-word” – procrastination seems to be a taboo topic, especially on the Internet. We all know that in order to be a successful (whatever that means) blogger, you need to put in the work. You have to be either writing, or reading, or designing, etc. Just like with anything else. If you want to advance your career, you have to put in the time and sweat. If you want to learn a new language, you need to sit and study. If you want to write a book, you need to actually write it and not just think about writing it.
The World Wide Web is filled with ideas of how to manage our time more efficiently. It basically teaches us how to squeeze the most out of our time. Many people realize that they want to do so many different things, but only have limited time, and so these tools can be very helpful. Managing your time in a productive way is definitely a good thing. If you do so correctly, you will be able to get many more things done in a day. You will also feel less stressed.
However, sometimes we forget that we are humans and not robots. Sometimes we have enough of the “go-go-go” and decide to take a break. We put our feet up and sit in our lazy chair for 2 minutes and 21 seconds and then we jump out of it as if it was on fire. Procrastination has set in. Time to go Google how to fight it.
The thing is that procrastination is not always a waste of time. You might argue that procrastination IS a waste of time, because it is time you could have spent on achieving, or taking care of something. That is all well and true, but only to a degree. Have you ever made a mistake, or produced less than excellent work because you were tired? I know I have. Was it worth it? Sometimes the negative side effects are not too drastic, but sometimes they just might be. Think about a truck driver who falls asleep behind the wheel and causes an accident, killing 10 people. Extreme? Maybe a little. But there are plenty of smaller disasters waiting to happen if we do not rest. The quality of our work often declines, we are more prone to accidents, and our mood can be impacted and cause interpersonal issues.
Chances are that sometimes you take your procrastination to the max. You have just discovered a TV series that is on its 7th season, and so you decide to do nothing until you binge watch all of the previous episodes. Is that good? Probably not. But it is not a strong “Yes!”, either.
The secret lies in you and your head. The amount of time I need to revitalize my body most likely is not the same amount you need. And what you needed last month might not be the same as what you need now. Things continuously change. We get exhausted in different ways (mental vs. physical) and to different degrees. You need to listen to your body and… BE HONEST with yourself. If you are an independent adult, people will not be breathing down your neck reminding you to get back to work. You might be able to stay on that couch forever. You are your own manager. Instead of binging more than 6 seasons, try watching a couple of episodes and seeing how you feel. You might need to do a full season, but it is important to continuously check with yourself. Nothing will happen if you overfill your fuel tank, but you will lose precious time and you might have regrets for wasting time in the future.
Burn out is very real. It does not only happen to doctors. It can happen to all of us. If your body aches, go lay down. If your brain aches, go and take your mind off of things. The TV show is just a blanket term for anything that you use to procrastinate. Some techniques might be less or more harmful. Again, it is you who chooses how to relax. Just remember that you ARE accountable. Listen to your body to see if it really needs rest (and how much of it), and be honest with yourself. If your body feels good to go after the 3rd episode of the 2nd season, do not keep watching, or you might run into a risk of over-slobbing (you might become one with the couch). Just know that pre-setting a specific amount of time for procrastination might not always work, because you might need more time to recover than you initially thought would be sufficient. It is a constant balancing act. Know what you need and work towards it.
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