The Paradox of Not, Not Working

The Paradox of Not, Not Working

I have been thinking a lot about the way we work and what counts as work. You see I've often felt bad or beat myself up about not working hard enough.

Not too long ago I realized that there are plenty of times when I'm not actively working, but I'm not exactly disengaged either. I might be on a walk and thinking about a specific problem, or reading a book related to something I am trying to learn. It's clear to me that these activities are different from the times when I am truly "not working." For example, when I'm watching a movie or playing ultimate frisbee.

But I struggled with what to make of these activities in between working and not working. Do I write them off as wasted time that I should have spent at my desk, or is there a different way to think about them?

I finally came to the conclusion there are times when I'm working, times when I'm not working, and times when I'm "Not, not working." I like this wording better then something like "passively working," even though the two phrases mean basically the same thing. "Not, not working" requires explanation and it forces you to think about the activities in between work and not work.

As a creative I don't always give myself credit for the work I do away from the desk, and there is something about this phase that allows me do that.

How about you? Are you giving yourself credit for all times you are "not, not working? Or is this something you are struggling with as well?

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Nelson/Roberto

Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I am a writer, photographer, and storyteller.

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