Why It’s Okay to Be Unproductive Every Now and Then

Katie Sweeney

As someone who feels guilty when I don’t check all the to-dos off of my daily list, I couldn’t help but click on a recent LinkedIn article that praises being unproductive. Author and journalist Beth McLean confesses to being “not productive. Sometimes I waste entire days.” Like me, McLean feels guilty when she’s unproductive, but she also points out that wasting time at work, whether it be online shopping or daydreaming, has its benefits. “My online shopping breaks foster some kind of subconscious creativity,” she writes, and I couldn’t agree more.

I always feel as if I can’t think of ideas when I need to, but they simply come to me when I’m doing something else. Reading her story reminded me that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. It’s okay to not run errands on Sunday and read your book instead—the world will keep turning, and you’ll get everything you need to get done. At the end of the story, McLean asks us to join her in a productivity protest, and I’m more than happy to do so. In fact, I’m adding it to this weekend’s to-do list.

One way to be unproductive? Get lost in a good book, like Sloane Crosley’s The Clasp.

Are you hard on yourself when you’re unproductive?

Explore: career, productivity

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