Your meeting ended earlier than you expected.
Your conference call didn’t take as long as you thought.
You find yourself on the train for a commute that is taking a little longer than usual.
The dentist is late finishing up with the patient before you.
You’ve got 15 minutes.
What are you going to do with that time?
For me, those are the times when the guilt sets in, when I think I should be doing something “productive.”
And productivity experts would be quick to jump in and give me tips on how to make the most out of that time – how those little pockets of 15 minutes throughout the day can lead to getting a lot more done.
But I find it kind of ridiculous that we’ve come to believe that we have to fill every nook and cranny of our day with doing something.
If we can’t give ourselves the fifteen minutes in the waiting room at the dentist or the five minutes in line at the grocery store to just chill out instead of sending emails or making a phone call, then we’re doing something wrong.
We’re doing too much. And we’re focusing too much on productivity techniques being the trash compactors of lives – squishing as much as possible into the small space we’ve got in a day.
If productivity is supposed to about getting more of my life back, then I’ll take my 15 minutes back.
And gladly do nothing but stare out the window.