Stop Falling Into the ‘Low-Quality Leisure’ Trap
You’re not working, but you’re not truly relaxing either
We spend our workdays in constant pursuit of focus. We invest in courses, test out the latest distraction-eliminating tools, and try various productivity strategies—all with the hope of maximizing our time. But when it comes to our personal time, it seems that we’re perfectly fine with letting it go to waste.
It’s far too easy to get caught in what I call the “low-quality leisure” trap: We tell ourselves we’d like to spend less time on our phones, be more present with our families, exercise regularly, and finally learn French. But when the end of the workday finally arrives, we’re tired, and all that stuff we want to do seems too difficult. And so we zone out on social media until it’s time to go to bed. It’s not a great way to live. It’s not a fun way to live.
I’m not saying we should be wringing optimization out of every second of the day. But with the right system, it’s possible to avoid the low-quality leisure trap and spend more of your free time doing things that actually matter to you.
Before I get to the strategy, imagine this scenario: You have been transported back in time — before the days of smartphones, television, or even electricity. What would you do for fun? With many of the modern distractions unavailable, you’d probably read more books. Maybe start painting, knitting, playing an instrument, or play card games with friends. Do you think these activities would be exhausting? Of course not. People did those things for fun because they were fun, and there weren’t any other alternatives.
My Smartest Move Was Switching to a Dumber Phone
Trading my smartphone for a flip phone improved every aspect of my life
Now I’m not suggesting you attempt to return to a pre-modern existence. Rather, the trick is to recognize that there’s nothing intrinsically exhausting about reading a book or painting a picture or doing any of the…