Study: Wasting Time Can Help You Be More Productive

May 16, 2017

11:20 am

Productivity is the Sisyphean goal of all budding entrepreneurs. While startup founders and innovators are constantly in pursuit of improving their ability to get stuff done, there is always more work to do. Whether you’re burning the midnight oil or researching office hacks during your lunch break, figuring out the best way to meet your goals is part of the entrepreneurial process. What you might not know is that wasting time could be your best path to success.

According to Michael Guttridge, a business and coaching psychologist in England, the psychological importance of wasting time cannot be understated when it comes to productivity. While entrepreneurs typically subscribe to the “sleep when you’re dead” model, study after study has shown that a little down time is not only good for your mental health, but also good for your working environment.

“There’s an idea we must always be available, work all the time. It’s hard to break out of that and go to the park,” says Guttridge. “Wasting time is about recharging your battery and de-cluttering.”

There’s no denying that a little downtime can help productivity. A good night’s sleep has been shown to make work easier. Hobbies are proven to expand the mind and improve productivity. Even the Shower Principle, made famous by Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock, proves that doing anything but work can improve your chances of success in the short term.

Working yourself to death, while considered admirable in past years by suit-clad bosses and stress-driven managers, gets you nowhere. Work-life balance isn’t just a perk that startups offer in hopes of attracting top talent. It’s the most effective means of spurring quality work in a healthy way. After all, as Guttridge quipped:

“Even Victorian factories had some kind of rest breaks.”

Read more about increasing productivity in your office here on Tech.Co

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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