Hey did you miss me? (Or did you even notice I was gone?) Took last week off to get caught up on some life stuff, some business, some personal, and now I am back and feeling refreshed and renewed. Breaks are so important, not only to a busy person’s sanity, but also for productivity and creativity.
How about you? Do you tend to work non-stop without pausing to rest or regroup, or do you naturally build breaks into your routines?
For me, it was a rather eye-opening experience to learn that periods of “doing nothing” were essential to keep me focused, energized, and wildly productive. It may sound strange, but you sometimes have to do less into order to get more. This is a rather foreign concept to busy Type A’s, yes I know (she says, as a recovering control freak), but it is a valuable lesson to learn nonetheless.
The fall is typically my busiest time of year, and this year is proving no different. That’s why I’ve scheduled in lots of play time, as well as down time, retreats and getaways, and “do nothing” time.
I remember years ago, I was speaking with a coach who had perfected the art of doing nothing. I was feeling very proud of myself as I told her how I had finally “done nothing.”
She asked me to tell her about it. “What did you do?” she asked innocently enough.
“I read a magazine.”
She snickered. “That’s not doing nothing. That’s reading a magazine.”
“But it was just a silly fashion magazine,” I protested. “It was completely mindless to flip through the pages and look at the pictures.”
“That may be true,” she said. “But it’s still doing something and not nothing.”
I decided that day that I would show her. I can do nothing! I told myself. I sat on the floor and stared at the wall. I soon felt tired, so I laid down. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from a nap. I looked at my watch. An hour had passed! I called up the coach:
“Guess what I did just? NOTHING!” I was so proud.
“Really? What did you do? Tell me about it.”
“I stared at the wall, and then I fell asleep.”
“Oh, so you took a nap.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t mean to. I just fell asleep while I was doing nothing.”
“Napping is something. You didn’t do nothing; you napped.”
“Dammit! Well what do you DO when you’re doing nothing?” Ohhhhhhh. It dawned on me just then.
So if you’re a busy bee, I GET IT. Because I like to be busy too. But not as much as I like feeling balanced AND totally crushing my to-do list.
Doing nothing was very uncomfortable at first. Definitely outside of my usual comfort zone. But I persisted, and this is what I found happened when I took more frequent breaks to do nothing:
- creativity soared
- problem-solving came quickly, almost effortlessly
- productivity skyrocketed
- intuition grew by quantum leaps
- I got in touch with my spiritual guides and team
All this from doing nothing!
and this is why I felt it was perfectly fine for me to take a week and a half off from my blog. Did I think about back-dating some new posts? Yes, I did. But I didn’t do it. And that’s exactly how I got the idea for this very blog post.
So the next time you’re tempted to just keep banging away and work on through lunch (or supper, or snack time), STOP and take a break. You’ll be blown away by how much more you will accomplish!