Counter Arts
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Counter Arts

On Doing Useless Things

Binge-watching can be helpful sometimes

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I lie down in my bed on a cold winter day. It feels inviting after a delicious meal; I have my phone with me as I mindlessly scroll through YouTube for cat videos. Suddenly guilt hits me. What am I doing with my time? I ought to be doing something productive.

We all feel unproductive from time to time; we are so obsessed with being busy that many industries defiant in teaching us how to be a productivity machine. And when we fail to meet these high standards, we hate ourselves for making the best use of our time.

But what’s the best use of our time? Is it to plow through all your TODOs? Is it to always tackle intellectually stimulating work? Or Is it building the next big thing? These are worthy goals, and everyone should do these things.

Yet, limiting your free time to these things seems to be quite the restriction. We are humans at the end of the day, and unlike machines, we aren’t single-minded. We have various motivations and emotional needs that we need to address, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The Definition of Useless Things:

I consider useless things to be work that you do for the sake of the work itself; there are no grand expectations around it. You do it because you enjoy the activity and that’s it.

Examples of such activities would be, playing video games, watching videos, listening to music, etc.

The Benefits of Useless Things

Allowing yourself free time without any expectations of making the best use of it is relieving for both your mind and body. Without expectations, your brain can finally relax and let loose.

You can play games, get into details of your favorite anime or read a fun comic book that you always wanted; even watching random videos on YouTube is okay. Such times allow your brain to stop processing things and give it space to put your problems for sub-conscious processing.

It might sound like a fad, but Rich Hicky, covers in his talk “Hammock Driven Development” quite well; such downtime allows you to come with new insights and ideas about your current problems.

Apart from these insights, it lets you let go of your current problems and take a breather. In today’s fast-paced world, where we wanted to do things yesterday, it’s always good to slow down, breathe and enjoy the journey.

After all, how long do we need to take unnecessary stress? We all need to take a break without judgment.

How To Do Useless Things?

Schedule Free Time: The best way to have downtime is to schedule it by keeping free blocks in your calendar or having dedicated days. That way, you can make use of your free time guilt-free, without feeling I need to be doing something else.

Guilt-free activities: Engage in guilt-free activities without any expectations; let your hair down and enjoy the process. It can be quite freeing when we stop thinking about what we want out of it.

Being Present: Finally, the essential ingredient is to be present. We are always chasing one thing from the next. Relax; it’s okay to slow down and take things as they come. Think of such activity as a break for your fast-paced life.

We all need downtime now and then, and we should be able to take it without judgment. Yes, we will get behind on some of our tasks but don’t worry, you can get back to it after your break. You don’t always have to keep running behind them.



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