How to be lazy without feeling guilty.

Jun 6, 2016

Idle hands are the devil's workshop. The saying might be over a thousand years old, and even sound very outdated, but the idea that being lazy is just no good is still widely accepted. Every day new articles, blogposts and books about how you can increase your productivity pop up like mushrooms. "Just do it" and "Get shit done" seem to be the prime mottos of our decennium. But while we're all busy making highly effecient colour coded to-do lists, a burnout seems to have become the prime illness of our time. Time for simply doing nothing seems like a long forgotten luxury, something we simply can not afford, because it doesn't help us to "reach our goals". Well, here's what I say. I say, screw productivity. I say, get less done. I say, enjoy life more. I say, be lazy without feeling guilty. And should you need a little help in that department, check out my 5 tips.

1. Give yourself permission to be lazy.

If you're gonna be thinking 'bout aaaaaaall the things you should be doing (vacuum cleaning, doing the laundry, running errands, building your empire) and how badly you don't feel like doing 'em, but still you actually really should, while you're flipping through the pages of a magazine, then don't. There's no use in taking downtime when you're beating yourself up about it at the same time. So. Grant yourself a timeslot in which you are allowed to be wholly unproductive - yes, even forbidden to even THINK about your to do-list. If you need to, you can even make it an assignment for yourself: Saturday afternoon, 3 hours of mandatory laziness. Now put that on your to do-list and smoke it!

2. Make sure you know when to stop.

While some people might need to push themself to actually take some time off, others tend to get caught up in their downtime (who, me? no, never!). One episode on Netflix turns into another and another and another and another. And before you know it, you find yourself staring at the screen with tired eyes, feeling quite empty and fed up at the same time (oh, and probably in need of a shower), but still not able to hit the pause button. Sometimes we can get so overwhelmed by society's constant pressure to be productive, that it just seems easier to stick our head into the sand - or onto our laptop screen. But in the end I don't think overdoses of escapism make anyone happy. After all, balance is key. So again, give yourself an alloted time, and STICK TO IT!

3. Do something productive first.

To continue along the lines of the balance thingy: To give yourself the feeling that you earned an evening of idleness on the couch, you can opt to do something productive first. This can be a small but nasty chore like paying a bill or loading the dishwasher or something slightly more interesting but bigger like writing a blogpost or working out at the gym for an hour and a half. Afterwards you can rest on your laurels whitout remorse. After all, you worked for it!

4. Lazy time = fun time.

Do something you really enjoy in the time you carved out for yourself as lazy time. I know, I'm kinda stating the obvious, right? But the thing is, if we're not a tad mindful about it, we might find ourselves wasting away our precious idle time on staring at boring tv-shows or looking at pictures of kids on facebook of people that we don't even like. I admit, it still happens to me sometimes and it always leaves me feeling very unsatisfied and annoyed with myself. Whereas when I curl up on the couch with a good book, a beautiful magazine or an exciting movie, I end up feeling inspired and happy, or at the very least content with how I spent my time. Much better, no?

5. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Yes, there are people who can juggle a 50 hour work week and an impressive work-out scheme week and feel perfectly fine. Yes, there are people who've already built up an impressive independant business at the age of 26. Yes, there are people who flawlessy combine a full time job with a thriving fashion blog. But. You are not those people. Maybe your body just needs more sleep. Maybe your brain needs more downtime in order to have moments of productivity or creativity. Maybe you need more moments of aimless chatting, of consuming fiction, of smelling the flowers in order to feel happy. And that is just fine. Let them be them and you be you. We all have our own roads to follow and most of all, our own ways of leading a fulfilling life.