Make sure you take the time to regularly schedule nothing.
If you’re in the habit of always scheduling something, of filling your schedule, make sure you take time for nothing.
Not “nothing” in an absolute sense, but times where you just relax or practice being present, with no particular agenda, maybe with a certain (restorative/renewing) activity (but not necessarily . . .).
Focus on being unfocused.
Unfocused on work, or even on specific “fun,” “enriching” or otherwise notable activities – the “somethings” that we all think we should be doing when we’re not working.
Schedule time to:
- take a walk with your spouse
- play with with your children (whatever they want to do… )
- sit quietly in a favorite spot
- . . .
* * *
It seems that so many people, especially modern parents, are – to put it charitably – focused (perhaps obsessed) on making sure that non-working/school-time is just as productive/useful/meaningful as possible, that activities that should be fun end up being just another task to be completed.
The antidote: schedule nothing.
Set aside time to quietly be with one’s self or people you really care about doing activities for their own sake. Not necessarily because they are enriching, or instructive, or useful in some strategic way, but because they feel good – feel good when you’re doing them and when you’re done.
You’ll find that these times of restoration and renewal and (re)connection make a tremendous difference in your levels of energy and commitment when you’re at work.
Know that it may be difficult at first to “do nothing,” but if you’ll trust in the idea and practice it regularly you’ll find that the benefits far outweigh your initially perceived “costs.”
Schedule nothing more often and you’ll find you get so much more done.