Nonproductivity is all it’s cracked up to be

English: Advertising postcard, picture side, f...

English: Advertising postcard, picture side, for the “Happy Day” washing machine, sold by the National Sewing Machine Co. of Belvidere, Illinois. Opposite side of unmailed card shows boilerplate message: “Dear Madam:/ If you will try the ‘Happy Day’ Washing Machine, you will surely buy it, because it operates so easily and cleanses so very thoroughly.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While living in Colorado I all too frequently heard tales of someone who had just climbed their (insert random number from 1 to 53(th/nd/rd)) “Fourteener”—mountain peaks in excess of 14,000 feet. I did not know how to act when I heard about these achievements. I typically tried demonstrating some enthusiasm at hearing the lofty news, but most times could only muster an “Oh wow!”

It was never my intention to belittle these types of accomplishments. If that is what you are proud of accomplishing and doing, then by all means let me hear about it. Just do not count on an overly exuberant response from me.

This is because while climbing mountains both literally and figuratively may be considered awesome feats of human determination, skill and the will to wind further and further to a destination that ends with a view (if the day is clear) and some fierce high fiving accompanied by whooping sounds, it does not come close to the benefits that QLT (Quality Lounge Time) provides.

Being in school again has reminded me of many things I looked forward to those many, long years ago when I was in school last (before this time). As the school year progressed when we were kids, whom were among the best and worst students was quickly sorted out. The kids who did not do as well as the kids on the honor roll found honor roll kids pretty annoying.

A mathematics lecture, apparently about linear...

A mathematics lecture, apparently about linear algebra, at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) — Teknillinen korkeakoulu (TKK) in Espoo Finland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honor roll students to this day are pretty annoying. It is as if they compete with one another to see who is the smartest (and by extension most irritating), who can get the most accolades and who can barricade themselves in their rooms for the longest stretches of time in order to claim the prize of “most likely to aggravate other people as an adult,” when the yearbook finally comes out.

If down time is not good for you then they would never give students breaks between semesters. I know the teachers probably need the breaks as much as the students do. The problem with breaks between semesters generally-speaking is that aside from hearing things like, “Enjoy your break!” or “Doing anything fun for break?” most of the honor roll kids are still doing annoying things like preparing for the start of school after break is over.

I woke up today with the expectation of doing absolutely nothing and am feeling like an overachiever even writing this blog. I should totally still be just sitting in the chair in the living room with some coffee and staring glassy-eyed out the front window. Some would say this is not doing anything. Perhaps this is right. But if it is doing nothing, then it is the most damn productive bit of nothingness I can ever do for myself.

Surprisingly, actually unsurprising, I did not feel the least bit guilty. I am doing a load of laundry as you read this so not only am I being productive (and by association “not lazy”), I am multi-tasking. I am typically not a fan of, or advocate for multi-tasking as I feel if one multi-tasks they are performing multiple things half-assed (each task is being done without benefit of one’s full attention). I do not know if everyone understands what half-assed means; I do not assume, and so wanted half-assed to be known as I understand the meaning of the word. In case anyone is wondering, this type of drifting off while blogging is proof one is making the most of their QLT. But let us give credit where credit is due. We all take credit for “doing” laundry when in fact it is actually our washing machines and dryers that are performing the bulk of the work for these very much taken-for-granted, yet important tasks.


QLT (Photo credit: mag3737)

I am thinking if one of the people at any given academic institution (they might be on break now, too) who helps decide the courses that are available to students is reading this, they may now be considering offering a class in QLT. Silly? I would not be so quick to judge harshly. Groundbreaking is one of those words that gets used too much, but if QLT were available as a curriculum choice, it could be groundbreaking in terms of its impact on schools of learning.

Most of the reasons people are unable to take full advantage of their QLT is simple guilt. People feel they need to be doing something productive all of their waking moments in order to maintain their self-worth. How sad an approach to life this is. What really offends me is when people who have mastered QLT and its benefits have to endure the slings and arrows of those who would frown upon any down time at all. When someone is distracted from their pursuit of QLT while on break from school or vacation from their jobs, by someone who thinks they should be doing something productive, I say stand firm (and remain doing absolutely nothing). Resist the offensives of those who cannot sit idle for even one minute (unless you want to have wrinkles like they do some day). Remain unyielding in your pursuit of the health benefits of QLT.

Sometimes you need more than one day of QLT. Those hyper individuals who will try to get you up, moving and rewiring your home in eight hours may permit you one day of QLT, but no more. If you want to have a second or third day of QLT in a row (NOTE: if you need more than three days of QLT at any given stretch please see me after class as you most likely are not doing it right), keep an open mind and discuss this with any housemates in order to avoid fostering ill will or resentment.

No tolerance, acceptance

No tolerance, acceptance (Photo credit: Juan Manuel Cruz del Cueto)

Open dialogue is crucial to gaining tolerance between proponents and non-proponents alike. How nice would it be if we could broaden the scope of QLT so as to have it one day serve as a symbol of just how healthy civilization can be when it promotes acceptance of differences and differing points of view, in all walks of life?


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