This article is so relevant to our culture of work and busyness these days. As a self employed person I can completely relate to feeling like I need to always be working – if it’s not one on one with my clients it’s research, studying, tackling the many lists of to do’s I have, and on and on…
Even weekends have slid into a mix of catching up on administration tasks and then some non-work activity. I love what I do so I can find it challenging to pull away and take time off just for me.
This winter however, I had time to reflect on, and put into practice, the importance of wasting time. Earlier this year I sustained a concussion and had no other choice but to wast time. I can tell you tho, it did not come easy. In the first few weeks of my concussion I fought the fact that I was injured. I was resting yes, but I was still trying to work and keep busy. My first thought was, well if I can’t physically be with clients I can catch up on reading and studying and research. I’ve got my endless list of to do’s. Well, I got shut down. My body said, “No!!! We can’t do this right now!” I had to listen. What a blessing it was.
I slowly learned how to let go of the “to do” and just “Be”. I went for walks with no agenda, I sat and looked out my window on rainy days and just stared into the distance, I watched movies and let my mind wonder. I actually learned how to day dream!
What a wake up call. Prior to my concussion I was noticing a feeling of burn out and taking time off helped, but not totally. During my recovery period I began to realize that I never really stop. Sure I take time off and have weekends but I wasn’t unplugging. Not even for half a day.
“Wasting time is about recharging your battery and de-cluttering,” he says. Taking time to be totally, gloriously, proudly unproductive will ultimately make you better at your job, says Guttridge. But it’s also fulfilling in and of itself.”
So, I am learning. I’m now back to work and putting into practice the skill of wasting time. I have to say, unplugging like this really does seem to cleanse my brain and make space so that when I come back to my tasks I feel ready to go. My suggestion – give yourself permission to wast time!