028 | Let me ramble on a little on this one

Mitchel Lensink
Jan 28, 2021
2 min read

There’s this tendency I have that I need to make record of. Here it goes.

I can only chill when I know that other things are in motion. To be able to relax, I need to hit start on something and let that run in the background. Then, when that thing is chugging along steadily, that’s when I can sit down and enjoy a moment of tranquility.

This can be as simple as installing a game on the PlayStation while doing the dishes. Or writing a good blog that now finds its way around the internet. Or posting my photos up for sale on a Print on Demand platform. Basically, it can be anything that can work on itself in the background while I do something else (and preferably do nothing).

It’s the thought of still being productive while taking a moment for myself that allows me to fully relax in that moment. The thinking is: “I might not be doing something productive, but this thing is still going on in the meantime so I’m not wasting time as well”. There’s a process running that’s still adding value to my time on earth and therefore, I don’t have to feel guilty for hanging around for a minute.

This also means that when I have no automatic process to hit start on, I need to be the one that’s making the progress. Obviously, that’s not a very effective way of living as that would require me to work every waking moment. Otherwise, by my own reasoning, I would never be able to relax.

I know this is unhealthy thinking and I do realise that taking time off is part of the discipline. You can only do so much in a day and stretching yourself thin to be ‘busy’ all day long isn’t the most productive you can be. I put quotes around the word busy because nobody is busy and productive all day long for extended periods of time. You wear out and eventually crash. This also means that being busy does not equal being productive.

I know all this. But knowing something and feeling it is not the same either.

I try to reserve more time for myself and leave some room to breathe every now and then. It’s okay to take a Thursday afternoon off. It’s okay to turn off the computer on a Sunday. I even try to actively seek out boredom since I read this insightful piece by Craig Mod. I now try to use boredom as a tool to create room to think. Room to let my mind wander a little. The moment I feel I might be getting bored. I try to sit down and just stare out the window for a bit.

It works. Though I still don’t think I try to be bored for the right reasons. I secretly find myself creating downtime to allow myself to come up with new ideas. New stuff to do or research. It’s a good strategy to get these things, but can you still call it downtime when it’s just another means to an end? That end being 'work' again?

Okay, the rambling has to stop now. There are a lot of different topics I’ve touched on here but as I said before, most of these Monologues are just notes to self. At least I got it out there so maybe I can let it go now.

In any case, I have now written my Monologue for today so at least I’ve been productive this afternoon while that game was installing on the PlayStation.

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