Could Rest Be Productive?

If you’re like me, your natural tendency is to fill your day with all sorts of different tasks and try to be productive. It’s kind of the default routine for most people nowadays where we always try to do more. For me, managing this tendency is an ongoing practice.



Talking to other musicians, I’ve even come across people feeling guilt and shame over taking time off. It made them feel like they were being “lazy” and “should be doing more”. Is this really helpful though? And what about rest, could it actually be productive?


I’ve heard someone tell this story to illustrate the point. Imagine that two people are each working on cutting a giant tree using a hand saw. Not the most environmentally friendly metaphor, I know but, just go with it, please. Person number one keeps at it even when the saw starts to lose its sharpness while person number two stops to sharpen it. Which one of them will finish the task sooner?


Considering all of the above, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does being busy automatically mean being productive?

And crucially…

  1. Are you tying your self-worth with how productive you are?


This leads me nicely to the following announcement. I’m taking some time off in August to visit my family in the Czech Republic. The plan is to spend at least part of that time away from my instrument and more importantly, not thinking about work. I’ll be back in September with more useful thought-provoking information.


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