The relaxation/guilt circle

Then, when we are wanting to relax, we feel guilty about the things we haven’t yet completed or need to be done. Also, in the industrialised world, it is seen as bad not to be constantly busy.

Therefore, relaxation time is far from that, it is stressful and time where we make ourselves feel bad.

When we are wanting to work, to do things, to take action, we feel resentful because when we were supposed to be relaxing in the evening or the weekend, we didn’t, we felt guilty. Therefore, we didn’t get time to chill and now work seems like a chore.

So, we don’t do the work and when it is time to relax, guess what? Yep, the same circle repeats itself guilt – resentment – guilt – resentment and so on.

To break it, we need to do one thing, create a time when work ends, and begins again, a shutdown. During the shutdown, we switch off work, phones, email, text, and so on.

If you are doing a job that is so important that you can not switch off for 8-12 hours a day, then change it, for the rest of us, there is nothing so earth-shatteringly important that it can not wait a few hours.

This breaks the circle of guilt followed by resentment. We properly relax and therefore we are fully supercharged to do our work, we get more work done and soon we have more time to relax.

The path of least resistance

In our short-term, instant gratification world, we have opted for the easy.

Send an email to many people for their input, tweet, snap, snip, post, share, repost, and so on. Click, click, click…multi-tasking ourselves round and round in circles of nothing of any note or value.

We have replicated the old school industrial measure of being productive, where the number of nuts or bolts we made that day could be measured against a clock, with a busyness of emails, meetings, chats, instant messages, and then like a giant human server we reply, simply processing data.

This path of busyness, shallow work, easily replicable and easy in all ways on the path of least resistance will lead to the path of nothing at all.

To do something of value, to do work that matters, to fulfil ourselves requires taking the path of most resistance, but we don’t because there is no metric to measure our productivity on that path. This path takes time, patience, bravery and the willingness to step out of the busyness circle.

What level of resistance we want is our choice and with any choice there are consequences.