Personal development through ‘unproductive’ activities


IT is always in our best interest to engage in productive activities and avoid unproductive ones to improve ourselves and feel accomplished in our lives.

However, there are certain supposedly ‘unproductive’ activities that can actually help enhance our personal or professional skills.

Thanks to various scientific studies over the years, these activities that used to be considered a waste of time are now perceived in a more positive light.

Here are a few ‘unproductive’ activities that you can incorporate in your daily routine for your personal development, keeping in mind that they should be done in moderation to reap the benefits in the long run.



Taking a good nap is one of the best ways to spend your break time, especially in the middle of the day.

It allows you to restore energy and alertness, recover brain function, boost immunity, and relieve stress.

If you tend to be sleep-deprived or you happen to work on shifts, including naps in your routine can increase your work performance and learning ability in your waking hours.

To get yourself a proper nap, do it for 15 to 30 minutes any time you start experiencing a slowdown in your productivity or capacity in processing information.


Playing video games

Here is a good reminder – playing video games can help boost your mental capability.

It improves your coordination and multitasking skills since it requires making use of your visual, auditory, and physical movements simultaneously.

If possible, pick up games that would allow you to focus and use your problem-solving skills towards achieving certain objectives before advancing to the next level.

Playing video games can also enhance your brain speed and memory and reduce your reaction time, since there will be occasions where your need to process sensory information and make decisions immediately and rapidly.


Being bored

While it is advisable to engage in productive activities in times of boredom, being bored on its own has its advantages towards the mind, imagination, and productivity.

Taking a break through boredom can improve your mental health by reducing stress and allowing your brain to rest after being exposed to an overload of information and distractions every day.

Boredom can also boost your creativity, problem-solving, concentration and self-control skills; your drive to seek new discoveries or experiences; and your motivation to pursue more fulfilling goals.

To feel bored the right way, do mundane activities without music or stimulation to allow yourself to wander, daydream, or contemplate on your own thoughts and reflection.

You should also avoid distractions from your mobile devices in order to increase your tolerance towards boredom; thereby learning to embrace the benefits it can give to you.


This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.