In today’s world of go, go, go, it’s easy to get burned out. The best way to avoid burnout is to create a space to do nothing.
Research shows that people burn out when they spend too much time focusing on thought-based and action-based pursuits at the same time. Burnout causes us to shut down and lose our desire, momentum, and creativity. To avoid burnout, we must take the time to do and think less.
When you create space for lower-intensity activities, you may find you are more creative. People often get their best ideas when they’re not working – perhaps resting in your favorite chair, reading a book, sitting in the park, or soaking in the tub. You can also cut down on the time you allot to completing tasks. This will force you to increase your organizational skills and focus. To boost productivity, give yourself an hour daily to focus on a specific project. Eliminate interruptions. Close the door to your workspace and make yourself unavailable to the world via your devices.
Something to Think About
In the days before technology, we left messages on an answering machine and waited for a return call. It worked. You can shut off your devices for an hour to focus on a task and the world will not stop. If you can’t relax because you are worried about others reaching you, simply put a message on your phone and email that says, I will be unavailable to respond to messages today from 2-4. Please leave a message and I will respond after 4. When you set the expectation, you control it.
Take a break from cellular devices, and the internet, one time each day this week to work on a project, or just use the time to meditate, reduce stress, and bolster self-awareness.
Words of Wisdom
There is more to life than increasing its speed. - Mohandas K. Gandhi
Thinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production-oriented society and doing nothing is hard to do. It’s best done by disguising it as doing something, and the something closest to doing nothing is walking. – Rebecca Solnit
There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers. – H.M. Tomlinson
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb
You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think. – Mortimer Adler