Ever got a case of the guilts for taking a few minutes to do absolutely nothing that contributes to your finances, your job, or your family – simply doing what you want because you like it? The Guilts is a pretty common reaction in our American culture that believes in the axiom, “Waste not – want not.” Unless of course, you are a part of the fluffy subculture that feels “Having experiences in life is so much more valuable than having stuff.” (You know, boring stuff like a job, money, a home, transportation.) But that sentence leads to another topic entirely, so will rapidly leave that thought alone for another day.

Back to goofing off bringing on a guilt trip.

Many of us in the older generation were brought up to concentrate on DOING. And if you weren’t constantly working toward the growth of your finances and your job/career, you were just goofing off – and that was intolerable. But is that really true? Is goofing off a waste of your time?

Absolutely not. (Unless you make that your career goal, then we need to talk.)

Now to be fair, for those of the Silent/Builder and Baby Boomer generations, spending one day of your week with your family was okay and actually, it was expected. The thought line was that you were doing something profitable and good – taking the time to be with your kids and teaching them solid values. But goofing off at something with no redeeming worth? A total waste of time.

But long-term exhaustion is no joke, folks. It hurts you in so many ways. After all, if you are physically ill, mentally exhausted, and emotionally edgy, you are a mess who is difficult to be around. Job-wise or at home. Ask your spouse and your co-workers.

On the other hand, goofing off has several benefits, such as stopping your brain from worrying along its well-worn tracks. Maybe makes that body of yours move differently than the rest of your day. Hopefully causes you to laugh easily. It is a good investment on your part to concentrate on giving a little of your time to what you love – without any guilt or anxiety about it. Jog, read, nap, talk socially – whatever you enjoy. This tiny dent in your days will cause you to be a much better employee/boss at work, and a whole lot more fun at home.

So, you can keep on focusing your entire week to bringing home the bacon, and finding that nobody in your household wants to sit down and eat it with you. Or you can decide to create a practical balance of work/family/you. A way of devoting time to your job, being there for your kids and your spouse, and a little effort toward taking care of you.

Yeah, I can hear some of you workaholics laughing and jeering as you are reading this. But try it. See if your family relationships improve and your coworkers applaud your decision.

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