The Art of Goofing-Off

There was a time when I excelled at Goofing-Off and I was usually on top of my game.

But, not too long ago, I went through a period where I was a slacker in the realm of goofing-off. Which means I worked too much and didn’t get as much done as I would have if I’d gotten back into goofing-off.

I see that look on your face. Confused, right?


Have you seen that Weight Watchers commercial with Jennifer Hudson where she says, “I haven’t stayed thin because I don’t indulge in that ‘super-sized,  loaded-with-cheese’ world we live in. I’ve stayed thin because I do indulge.”, or something like that?

So, I get more done when I goof-off occasionally and Ms. Hudson stays thin when she has chocolate now and then. Hmmm.

I suppose it follows, then, that spending too many hours focused on writing or being too rigid with your eating plan primes you for boredom and procrastination, which can lead to…dum de dum dum…FAILURE.

Have you ever had a month or more when you worked, cooked dinner and slept, almost to the exclusion of all other activities?

You. Are. Not. Alone.

Boredom and procrastination move in and suck all the life out of you until you’re a humorless, dried up prune!

If you’re feeling kind of prune-y, do just the opposite – step into the hot tub or a bubble bath, go play golf, see a movie, bake some decadent dessert, take a nap, walk with your dog – and you’ll come back refreshed and clear-headed, ready for more work.

Give yourself the gift of balance in all things. If you’re the type who remembers to be good to yourself more often when you have a visual clue, try Toploader’s A Balance To All Things.

Play this song when you sit down to work or plan your meals for the week.



Writing, painting, singing and all other creative pursuits are forms of ART.


The ART of goofing off is what will keep your creative art on the path to success.


Do you agree that goofing off is healthy?

What do you do when you need to goof-off?



  1. Kitt Crescendo  March 7, 2013

    I recently had to force myself to goof off to free my mind of the cluttered debris that can sometimes trip a person up. Fortunately I have a great friend who enjoys going to breakfast or walking our dogs together. That, reading and taking time to sing help me significantly. Sometimes I need to step away in order to come back with a clearer vision.
    Kitt Crescendo recently posted..Common Household Items Making Playtime FUN!My Profile

  2. Pam  February 17, 2013

    Yes, yes, and an extra helping of yes to me on this post! When I need to goof off, I go to my Sunday and Monday nite TV shows. I go to the pub. I play the Sims 3. I read for the joy of a good story rather than to learn something (and usually learn something anyway). In fall and winter, I geek about football. In spring and summer, I play in gardens and take walks in pretty places and have margarita-pool-days with the girls. I am clearly the queen of goofing off. But when I cut myself off from being that person to finish my book, I did walk away from the experience a kind of burnt-out shell. Letting my slacker side come out to play is revitalizing me AND making me more creative.
    Pam recently posted..Grandmom Goes “Grey”My Profile

    • Marcia Richards  March 7, 2013

      Good for you, Pam, for finding so many fun ways to goof-off! We writers sometimes find it hard to do a little goofing and a little work each day. I’m certainly guilty of solely working to the point of burnout. Not good. Your “Slacker Pam” is definitely a creative!
      Marcia Richards recently posted..The Art of Goofing-OffMy Profile

  3. Kate MacNicol  February 13, 2013

    Yes, yes and yes. Goofing off is necessary if we’re to be truly creative people. I need this reminder on a regular basis. LOL
    Kate MacNicol recently posted..Kate’s Quickies: Revision DecisionsMy Profile

  4. Jolyse Barnett  February 10, 2013

    Hmm. What do I do to goof-off? I watch romantic comedies or action adventures, catch up on my DVR’d OUAT episodes, drink a Pink Flamingo or glass of Malbec, play Wii with my family, draw, do digital scrapbooking, listen to island music, write poetry…

    I have no problem taking time for myself to recharge daily. If I didn’t, I’d implode. Simple as that. 🙂
    Jolyse Barnett recently posted..No Worries, this is Brainy FunMy Profile

    • Marcia Richards  March 7, 2013

      We really don’t want you to implode, Jolyse! Your list of fun things to do gives me some good ideas! Hope all is well with you!
      Marcia Richards recently posted..The Art of Goofing-OffMy Profile

  5. Tameri Etherton  February 10, 2013

    Love this! All work and no play makes Tameri a grumpy, frumpy, sour puss and no one wants that. Especially me! Still, it’s nice to have gentle reminders like this every now and again because it’s easy to forget. I’m in the process of turning the spare bathroom upstairs into my spa retreat. I can’t wait until it’s done, then I will definitely be goofing off more in the tub. That sounded wrong, but you know what I mean. Now, if only I could convince my husband to let me get that huge jet spa tub I fell in love with in Carmel. 😉
    Tameri Etherton recently posted..Super Bowl Ads ~ Three Hits and One Noisy MissMy Profile

    • Marcia Richards  February 10, 2013

      Oooh, a spa tub! I’ve always wanted one, too! Then you and hubby can “goof-off” together! Be sure to show us pictures when it’s all done. I can just imagine it! You could get lots of ideas in that tub.
      Marcia Richards recently posted..The Art of Goofing-OffMy Profile

  6. Jess Witkins  February 7, 2013

    Well, I may be in the opposite mode as you right now. All play and no work – on the writing anyway. I’ve actually put in a lot of overtime at the store again, but feel REALLY good about the set up I’ve created for the new fiscal year. So I’ve worked a lot there, but not on my writing goals. Most of my days off though, I’ve been a slug, except for blog writing. Watching movies, reading, and hanging out with my honey. I may not be the most productive right now, but I feel good! LOL
    Jess Witkins recently posted..Countdown to the Oscars: Beasts of the Southern WildMy Profile

    • Marcia Richards  February 7, 2013

      You need all that down time, Jess, because of your job. Your mind and body are probably still trying to catch their collective breaths after the holiday craziness. One day soon, you’ll either decide it’s time to get back to writing or you may decide to take a longer hiatus. Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty! Listen to your body and you’ll know when it’s time to do whatever.
      Marcia Richards recently posted..The Art of Goofing-OffMy Profile

  7. Renee Schuls-Jacobson  February 6, 2013

    Yeah. All those people who keep telling me that I need to write every single solitary day from eight in the morning until six at night have me freaking out.

    I have to have balance in my life or I go crazy. That includes making time for play-time. Lunch dates with friends. Walks with my husband. Allowing myself to enjoy my son.

    Often when I turn off my working brain the ideas come more freely. Did you ever notice that the best ideas come when you are in the shower? That’s the way it goes for me. If I sit and stare at the computer I can waste a lot of time.

    Thank you, Marsha, for being a voice of reason. Your “slow blogging manifesto” got me starting to think about this stuff in the first place. I am so grateful to you. We need to remember that we are not robots. We are human beings and we need human interaction.
    Renee Schuls-Jacobson recently posted..Tingo Tuesday: Have You Ever Gone ‘Akihi?My Profile

    • Marcia Richards  February 6, 2013

      Yes, I get a lot of ideas in the shower, too! Any kind of getaway from work pulls the plug and lets the creative juices flow. Thanks for the kind words, Renee. I’m grateful some of what I’ve posted has resonated with you–also grateful to call you a friend.
      I used to feel guilty for stepping away from the computer for too long but, no more. Balance keeps us healthy. Good for you for instinctively knowing that and following that path.
      Marcia Richards recently posted..The Art of Goofing-OffMy Profile

  8. Donna@Gardens Eye View  February 6, 2013

    I completely agree…I have times where I decide to do nothing which means I will do whatever I want…that mean I will be a vegetable on the couch so I can rest and relax and renew….whatever I do it will be fun for me.
    Donna@Gardens Eye View recently posted..Gardens Eye Journal-February 2013My Profile

    • Marcia Richards  February 6, 2013

      Vegging on the couch is exactly what I’ve felt like doing lately, too. I’ll bet you’re also in the process of planning this year’s garden. Enjoy, Donna!
      Marcia Richards recently posted..The Art of Goofing-OffMy Profile


Add a Comment

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: