Sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. We make lists and check off the activities we manage to complete — because that makes us feel productive. We might even put fun things on that list — like yoga class, reading for an hour or calling a friend — in case we get too busy to remember to have fun.
But while we’re cramming our days with taking the dog to the vet, picking up prescriptions and dropping by the grocery store on the way home, are we getting enough leisure time? Although it may feel lazy, and maybe even costly, to schedule yourself leisure time, consider that some experts say we can be more productive — do more in less time — if we designate a specific time for leisure.1
Keep in mind, there is a difference between leisure time and wasting time. Although it’s nice to be idle on occasion, it may be more beneficial to stay active in your leisure activities. For example, playing golf or a casual game of tennis helps you stay in shape. If you’re indoors, reading a good book could provide intellectual stimulation that an afternoon surfing social media might not.
It’s also OK to allow time for leisure on a whim. If the urge strikes, stop whatever you’re doing and go for a walk. The more unplanned that walk is, the more likely you are to enjoy it. And when you get back to your lists, your chores and office duties, you’ll be all the more refreshed because of it.2
1 Olivia Goldhill. World Economic Forum. May 15, 2017. “The psychological key to productivity? Wasting time.” https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/05/this-is-the-psychological-importance-of-wasting-your-time/. Accessed Sept. 29, 2017.