I am struggling with a couple of days of boredom this week, which is a rare occurrence for me. I am not one who is bored often. There is always plenty to do. Cleaning closets, cleaning the garage, pulling weeds, etc. There is always something to do around the house. But it is much too hot today in Raleigh to be outside pulling weeds or cleaning out the garage. And cleaning out my closets does not appeal to me today!
There is always reading. But for some reason I do not usually read during the day; that is my nighttime pleasure. I thought about going to Belk’s to use the $10 coupon that I received that expires today, but decided that the blog I wrote last week will not allow that! So, what should I do so I don’t resort to snacking?!
I decided to write a few thank you notes. I just returned from visiting with a couple of life-long friends, and they are worthy of a note thanking them for their hospitality. After all, who doesn’t like to receive a handwritten note? If/when we do receive one, it is usually the first thing opened in a stack of mail. And since it is best that a thank you note to be written in a timely manner, doing that will be a good use of my time. In fact, there is another thank you note that I need to write that is very much overdue, so I will also write this one, finally.
It is perfectly fine to choose to rest and relax and to not think that we have to be productive every waking hour. That is different than being bored. What is not good is to go through our days aimlessly, not focused on rest, and not making decisions about how we are spending our time. It is not fine to get to the end of our day or days, and not have anything to show for our time. Time is a valuable resource, and wasting time is different than choosing to slow down and rest.
Aimlessly scrolling through social media because we can’t think of anything else to do is not a good use of our time. Choosing to spend time on social media because we want to check in and see how our friends are doing is different, and that can be a productive use of our time.
Summer allows us to have a less structured schedule than many of us do during the school year. During the school year, those who have children in school and after-school activities that compete with work schedules never even have to think about being bored; their challenge is getting everything done that has to be done. Even without school-age children, those who have busy work schedules with too many priorities to manage long for a time when boredom can set in. Their challenge isn’t boredom, it is overload.
Summer provides a more relaxed schedule for many people, yet even so, making the time meaningful is important. So, decide how your time will be spent so aimlessness and even boredom do not set in. While structured goal setting may not be necessary, setting two or three priorities for each day and working to accomplish those will make you feel, and in fact be, more effective.
It is more important to be and feel effective than it is to be and feel productive. We can be productive and get a lot accomplished, but it may not be the things that are most important for us to accomplish. That is different than being effective.
So, what will it be for you? Will you let boredom set in, and give in to it, accomplishing little? Or will you focus on being more productive, getting things done, yet not necessarily the things most important for you to get done? Or perhaps you will focus on being effective, accomplishing those things that get you closer to what is important to you.
It is your decision to make.