"Unproductive" As A Means To Connection
So, once you get yourself to slow down and ignore the to-do list, how do you spend the evening? A Netflix binge of crime shows won’t exactly bring a sense of ease, so think critically about how you would like to spend your hours of restoration. Try not to be productive about it, but you can still use your time to engage in activities for enjoyment.
One of our households uses “Quite Hour” on a regular (but not nightly or even scheduled) basis. The electronics are turned off and the fire is going. Kids and adults choose from games, puzzles, books, handwork like crotchet and knitting, to fill the time. We can engage in these activities without the sense of winning or accomplishing and tune in to the enjoyment. It’s a practice of doing something not because you’re good at it or because you want to do it better.
Recognize also these moments of un-productivity are hugely beneficial in the realm of connection to loved ones. Time spent snuggled on a couch with a book or laughing during a lively family game floods our brains with dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps wire our brains for attention and emotional response. Gradually we can rewire our brains to crave the quiet and intimate as much as the sense of accomplishment from producing and achieving.