How to Be More Unproductive And Why

You need more playspaces and fewer workspaces

Adolfo Ramírez Corona
5 min readMar 7, 2022

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Photo by Jabari Timothy on Unsplash

If a productivity framework doesn’t tell you enough about unproductivity, take for granted that the framework is not going to work at the end of the day.

Let’s be clear about this. You can’t be productive all the time. No way.

In fact, you need to manage your unproductive time in order to have more quality time when doing some work.

But also, you need to be unproductive to the couple of the things that give you benefits in long term: thinking and learning.

And I’m not talking just about that time to rest between a pomodoro session, or a day between sprints. Neither about the importance of having a walk or days off.

I’ve been in several job positions and diverse kind of projects to tell you that one big mistake to accomplish tasks and goals is to center everything in immediate results and outcomes.

As humans, we need time for leisure and playing also. Yes, leisure and playing.

The forgotten importance of leisure and playing

You may have forgotten this. Perhaps you have remembered it after watching your kids or the kids of your friends, but haven't taken away a particular learning.

A very important part of our thinking, learning, and practicing, comes from playing.

Playing is a highly motivated activity done for pleasure and enjoyment, usually under a non-goal oriented environment. Or at least, a non-stressful goal oriented environment.

Playing like happiness lives in the present. Productivity like success lives in the future.

Playing can look very unproductive under any modern productivity framework, but having a playtime reduces cognitive overload, increases learning, gives space for experimentation, and, at the end, helps you to improve the quality of the other time, the productivity time.

We need more playspaces and fewer workspaces

We have this strong division between two categories: games and apps.

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Adolfo Ramírez Corona

Author, psychotherapist, coach—Human behavior, UX, media & audiences—Father, husband, meditator—Courses & coaching: antifragilewriting.com—More adolforismos.com