There is always more to do. Ever feel that way? That no matter how much you get done more just piles on. Sometimes, your time in spent actually spinning wheels trying to get things accomplished. But really all you succeed in doing is filling up the day haphazardly. And that can leave you feeling unfulfilled, and tired.
We are in very unsettling times. Nothing is the same as it was and it can create fear – rightfully so. Sometimes, busyness can feel like it suppresses that fear. The more you do, the more occupied you are. And when you feel occupied, well… you feel, perhaps, more in control.
Of course that isn’t completely true. You are really only in control of your attitude when something you can’t control happens to you.
Scheduling your day, making a plan for your life is a necessary component of success. It help you be more organized, focus and clear. All important parts of feeling good, happy, calm.
Busyness – adding to-dos on top of other to-dos, not say no when it is necessary, packing your calendar full of meetings and other important time-sucking events – that is a recipe for stress and burnout.
We add in more doing and often we get less out of our day, and our life.
The solution? Schedule more nothing.
Nothing is not really nothing. It is something. Scheduling nothing means you give yourself time to breathe, catch up, experience more. It is probably one of the most important things you can put on that busy calendar. In fact, leaving space for some nothing is actually a great act of self love.
Our ancestors – you know those cave people – they had it right. They worked just as much as they needed in order to provide for their families, and didn’t over-schedule the rest of their days. They didn’t say yes to dozens of invitations, or take on projects that would detract from their leisure time.
Imagine? They valued leisure time.
I know it sounds crazy to schedule “nothing”. You have things to do, people to see, money to make. Doing nothing probably feels like a luxury you can’t afford. But without it I think you will suffer at the hands of “too much”. You actually compromise more when you don’t make time for less.
Here are three reasons to schedule more nothing:
1. Pockets of nothing allows room to better handle hiccups.
I am big fan of stacking tasks one after the other, hour by hour. I leave myself a 5-10 minute break in between to reset and transition to another task, or another hour of work. okay to schedule hour by hour piling tasks next to each to stay productive. But adding in some margin to do a little nothing opens you up to welcome in …something. And if it doesn’t, you can use the time to grab a cup of tea, and that new book you have been dying to read.
2. Less rushing makes you a kinder person.
Nothingness is a rejuvenation tool. And a necessary one at that. When you are always on alert because of other people’s emergencies, emails or social media you are also creating stress. And that affects how you are interact with others – family, friends, co-workers. When so much comes at you it can be hard to control all the moving parts. And that can leave you feeling flustered, stressed, perhaps curt with others. Instead of scheduling your time around all of that noise, add in some quiet, that time to unplug and move away from the busyness to settle your soul. You will emerge more present, calmer, and kinder.
3. Time for nothing invites you to get grounded.
It gives you permission to slow down and be in your own skin and listen to your self. Be still. Be quiet. There is no rush to do the next thing because this time is your time to think about who you are, who you want to be, what you want to do with this one life you’ve got. Self knowledge, digging deep and listening to your soul is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself. All “good” (social action, kindness to others, clarity of mind) comes from an understanding of who you are, and why you are here.
Do nothing while you plan for something. Plan your day. Schedule your tasks. Be efficient and organized with your time. Make the most of your time and what it can do for you by adding in a little nothing. The time to connect more quietly, and rejuvenate more fully. There is a gift within the benefits that daydreaming or slow moving, or lounging for a small time bring.
A gift you give yourself, and everyone else around you.