Why we should all waste more time

Instead of increasing recreational time, technological and economic progress, has done just the opposite. The pace of life has increased dramatically, both personally and in terms of business. Research into 483 professionals and executives found that 60% of those who carry a smartphone for work report interacting with work around 13.5 hours every workday and roughly 5 hours on weekends. This new norm has left many feeling more unproductive and unsatisfied. As a result, mental-wellbeing, or lack there of, is a growing topic of conversation. It begs the question; how can you search for meaning in life when you are constantly connected to work? Physicists and writer, Alan Lightman apparently has the answer: by spending 30 minutes each day ‘wasting time’. 

In today’s fast paced society, the idea of deliberately wasting time is highly uncommon and is far from encouraged. In his book,’In praise of wasting time’, however, Lightman builds a case for wasting time and suggests that it actually allows people to appreciate stillness, privacy and engage in personal reflection. Brain studies show this can increase creativity and productivity. Wasting time is defined as “any time spent that’s unstructured and without a goal.” This can include, wandering, sitting quietly or unplugging from electrical devices. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for employers to contribute to a happier and more meaningful life for their employees. This demand calls for a change in attitude. For an attitude that values stillness and allows for disconnection from the external world. So, how can you help the people around you waste a bit of time each day?

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