It’s OK to not be as productive as usual while in quarantine

Just because your friend started their own company doesn’t mean you have to do it too

If all you did today was eat chips and play Switch, you’re doing just fine. Illustration: Sabrina Kedzior / The Peak

By: Marco Ovies, Editor-in-Chief

I went on Instagram the other day and instantly felt like absolute trash for doing nothing the entire day. One of my friends had started her own life-advice blog that has just begun to blow up, while another was creating a macramé bag. I didn’t even know what macramé was before she had mentioned it. Meanwhile, I spent the morning laying in bed with a few too many potato chip crumbs on my shirt scrolling through TikTok. 

So right around the time I was ready to click “checkout” on the $100 of art supplies I was about to buy, I took a moment to stop and think. Who said that the rules of quarantine meant I needed to do something “productive” with my life? More importantly, what did being productive with my time even mean? 

Society is constantly telling us that we need to use whatever free time we have to achieve something. It stems from this idea I like to call “struggle culture,” where we have ingrained in ourselves that to be successful means we have to struggle. Basically, the principle is that if you work really hard now, you’ll be able to relax when you’ve “made it” later. 

The catch is that society has conditioned us to feel guilty the second we stop striving for more. We will never be truly satisfied, and it ends up as a never ending cycle of working until the day we die (depressing, I know).

One of the major features propelling this feeling is that we’re constantly inundated with celebrity “success” stories. These people who have ostensibly “made it” quite often have not worked a day in their lives, or are making money off of the backs of others. But because of how influential these people are we have started to think that if we want to be like Jeff Bezos  we need to spend every waking second doing something to improve ourselves. 

To be entirely honest, you’re doing fine if you’re taking time for yourself instead of studying to become a neurosurgeon during quarantine. Personally, I’ve taken this time to reorganize my living space, repot some plants, and allow myself a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now more than ever I think we all need to take a break for a moment and focus on what’s really important. The added pressure of trying to be productive with your free time is not helping anyone. This is your time and you shouldn’t let society decide what you need to be doing with it.