The Importance of Being Idle

Have you ever felt like just relaxing and not having to worry about anything in the world?

Chilling on the beach, with the sun, the sand, and the sea.

Wouldn’t it be good if you could enjoy your holiday without having to worry if your job was good enough for your boss and your clients?

Well, sometimes, you do need to take a break and just idle.

While some wise people say that the idle mind is a dangerous mind, let me attempt to differentiate between destructive idling versus constructive idling


Destructive Idling is when you spend your time doing stuff. Stuff are the things that you can do without.

Examples of stuff while you self destruct in destructive idling includes:

  • Time wasted on watching excessive television programs
  • Time wasted on playing excessive video games
  • Time wasted on shopping for liabilities
  • Time wasted on over indulging in hobbies that bring you little or no tangible or intangible rewards

In other words, there is a poor reward-effort ratio when you do “stuff” that waste your precious time. Time wasted on such “stuff” would only lead to more unproductive results when you “finish” the “stuff“.

For example, I remembered watching Hong kong drama serials on DVDs till the wee hours of the night, with my brother.

After completion of one series, we would look at each other and say, “let’s watch one more. . . ”

We didn’t stop till 4am! And we were dead tired the next morning for school.

So, I learned my lesson the hard way.  And I NEVER want to do that EVER again.

It was a waste of our time, and it hindered our productivity the next morning.


Constructive Idling on the other hand  is time spent on envisioning and creating real value for yourself and others around you. Examples of creating real value while you are engaged in constructive idling are:

  • Time spent on resting to prepare yourself for the journey ahead
  • Time spent with loves ones to build relationships
  • Time spent with team mates to build rapport
  • Time spent alone as part of personal development and other education
  • Time spent to think of ways to build your business and pipelines

There are times that we have to rest. We need to catch our breath so that we can continue to work towards our goal.

In exercise, this resting phase is also known as the phase where we recover from a strenuous activity so that our heart beat resumes to normal state. Such rest is imperative for our bodies to recover from one workout to the next.

This is one reason why we see children as having boundless energy! When they run from one area to the next, they also know when to stop and catch their breath. This ensures that their lungs and heart fully recover from one activity before the other!

You see, there are benefits in idling. But only if it brings about value to your life and to the loved ones around you.

So . . .  it was a great idling time last weekend, as I chilled out with my wife and baby girl in Sentosa, an off-shore island in Singapore!

After all, they are the very reason why I work so hard for.



P.S Check out this song from Oasis that inspired me to write this post!


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