The appetite for written work has diminished. People don’t read nearly as much as they used to, choosing to watch or listen instead. Ironically, in an attempt to be more productive, people end up being less focused and therefore less engaged.

EDIT: I wrote this well before the COVID-19 pandemic came to full force. I think it is even more relevant now that we have been relegated to our homes, stuck to ponder. The downtime we have has sparked people to recognize that having purpose to life is critically important to sanity. While being “productive” in the common sense of the word is not necessary, it can imbue meaning. However, just relaxing during this time is perfectly fine. Just because you didn’t learn a new skill or read more books, does not mean that you wasted your time.

It also leaves little time for thought. So many fill their downtime—during a commute for example—with podcasts and audiobooks. With the advent of waterproof phones, even the once pristine shower has not been spared. We no longer have any sanctuaries of thought. Productivity seems to have taken over. This is why it can be important to throw productivity to the wayside, slow down, and be alone with your thoughts.

This is where music is useful. People listen to music all the time, but often only when doing something else mundane. And I think that robs music of its purpose. Music takes you on a journey of emotions. It allows you to feel emotion. Therefore it is valuable to listen to music and do nothing else. Allow your thoughts to wander and roam, guided along an open field by the music.

Dossier

“Is Reading a Chore?” by Sahil Nawab, April 24, 2020. http://www.sahilnawab.com/blog/is-reading-a-chore/

“Why Boredom is Good For You,” by Veritasium, September 29, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKPwKFigF8U