The Importance of Wasting Time

I was listening to Brené Brown’s Audible book The Power of Vulnerability today on a trip to IKEA.

Through qualitative research (I’m recollecting the audio, so I’m probably not wording this correctly), she discovered that people who unconditionally love themselves shared similar qualities.

Here are two of the qualities people who unconditionally loved themselves shared:

  1. They spent a greater amount of time playing. I’m not talking creative play at work or anything like that. We’re talking actual play. For example, jumping on a trampoline or playing a board game.
  2. They spent a greater amount of time sleeping. We’re talking 8-9 hours of true sleep every 24 hours.

I haven’t gotten far enough in the book to know exactly why this characteristic pops up. But I have a theory.

Individuals who truly love themselves put taking care of themselves at the top of the priority list.

Even when I consciously make an effort to take care of myself, I don’t treat myself this good.

Here’s the warped way I can sometimes view taking care of myself:

  • Exercising on the elliptical in my garage.
  • Forcing myself to eat some vegetables.
  • Tracking eight glasses of water in an app.
  • Writing down my goals for the day.
  • Going for a 10-minute walk outside.

Is there anything wrong with any of these things?

No, not really.

But if a good friend asked me to prescribe them tasks to take care of themselves it would look more like this:

  • Take an hour walk in nature and contemplate a passage of spiritual writing. No phone.
  • Slowly savor a delicious meal made with fresh ingredients.
  • Meditate for at least 20 minutes in the morning and evening.
  • Write a letter to let someone know how thankful I am for them.
  • Spend an hour playing a game of Backgammon with a friend with some delicious coffee.

Notice the difference here?

The former list crams self-care down my throat. It’s an unproductive way to try to take care of myself.

The latter list takes heaping portions of time. It forces us to give up some of our productivity.

How Can You Waste Some Time This Week?

What can you do for yourself this week to give back to yourself?

What can you do that is a waste of time regarding productivity (but a valuable investment for you as a person)?

Take 60 seconds and leave a comment below letting me know what you plan to do. I’d love to hear your ideas. Plus it will act as a living list of ideas for other readers. 




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