We live in a society that promotes being busy, productive and well, quite frankly ‘on it’ at all times. We are constantly switched on and social media contributes to the concept that ‘busy’ equals ‘productive’ which equals ‘success’. But who wins here? We place ourselves under such enormous pressure, we feel we are not enough if we are not using our time to achieve something and never actually have the time to enjoy that sneaky little thing that is vanishing rapidly into a task orientated day: life. So, for all the fast-paced task slayers out there – today’s blog focuses on the importance of not just taking time out, but of simply doing nothing. This can be quite a bewildering concept because doing nothing should be the easiest thing in the world, but believe us – it’s not. It takes practice and stern talkings to yourself to master the art. Luckily, you’ve got us to guide you!
The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Doing Ab-so-lute-ly NOTHING
1) Think differently about doing nothing. Rather than letting yourself feel guilty or telling yourself you are not being productive think of it like fasting for the soul. Inner you needs a rest for all the good stuff to digest. If you are constantly on the go, it never has the chance and disappears without absorbing.
2) Don’t try and do nothing when you have a to-do list the size of a large picnic rug to content with. You are likely to be distracted and agitated. Get a few things done and then use it to recharge and refresh. You may even find you are more productive when you do return to your tasks.
3) Find a quiet, comfortable space. All parts of you need to be switched off – think minimal sensory stimulation, minimal physical or cognitive activity. There is no point lying still doing nothing if your ears are processing loud music or conversation or if your mind is trying to reorganise a shelf of books from afar.
4) If you start to hear your own negative thoughts filter in, or feel guilty about doing nothing, remind yourself of the benefits and what you would like it to bring to you. This could be an increased sense of wellbeing; relaxation or openness to creativity. These are just as important as being on the go all the time.
5) If you have a self-care plan, add it in to your week. It doesn’t have to be hours and hours of nothingness slowly taking over your life a la ‘The Neverending Story’. Fifteen minutes of nothing, done regularly can have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
6) Note how you feel afterwards. A simple thing but often we are so caught up in life that we forget this simple acknowledgement. Do you feel refreshed, relaxed or inspired?
7) Remember it is about the balance. When we blend a mixture of a deliberate time out, with set out work time we become happier, smarter, creative and more productive. Things feel clearer and we are recharged and ready to take on the next challenge. We are acknowledging and giving ourselves permission to take a break, rather than living a life where there is no delineation between the two.
It’s Monday. It’s OutdoorCureOnline Blog day. So, let your week play a little differently and see if you can feel the benefits!
The OutdoorcureOnline Team x