Why Do We Have to Be Productive All The Time?

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

When did our ambitions, our dreams, officially become “side hustles”? When did they become second — largely unpaid — jobs?

I mean, I get it. I’ve wanted to be a writer since forever, but that doesn’t pay the bills at the moment, so I have a day job that keeps the lights on. I sneak in writing time where I can, usually for an hour or so before I go to bed. It used to be more, but that’s not so easy these days. Is that enough?

According to all the advice I read, probably not. It seems as though there are more and more articles dedicated to the art of finding you more time to work on that side hustle — be it writing or anything else.

Get up at 5am every morning!

Work on it during your commute!

And your lunch break!

Work on it at night!

If there was some way you could work on your side hustle while unconscious, the gurus would doubtless recommend you work on it in your sleep, too.

Believe me, I understand that there are sacrifices to be made.

I understand that the harder you work the more successful you will be.

But honestly, why have we allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we exist only to work? That’s it’s not enough to graft 9–5 for someone else but we also have to extra work before, during and after those hours just to have the hope of maybe possibly someday achieving our dreams?

We have lives to live, too.

We need to have time to unwind, too.

So, yeah — I will spend my lunch break reading sports news and scrolling social media. I will be very much asleep when 5am rolls around. I’m not going to spend every spare hour writing — that’s a surefire way to burn out and get sick of it. I know, I’ve already tried it.

Don’t let the productivity gurus convince you that you’re only valuable if you’re working. Take some time off the side hustle. Go and see friends or family. Go for a walk. Read a book. Just sit down and do nothing for an hour.

The novel, the app, the new invention…they can wait. Honestly, it won’t kill you. But working all day and night just might.

Thanks for reading! Keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter, or join the mailing list.

David is an author and freelance writer. He has two short story collections available, and his non-fiction work has appeared on The Mighty, WhatCulture and Just Football, among others.

Navigating parenting with a disability and trying to write a novel. Email: davefox990@hotmail.com

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