It’s no secret that we are a culture that loves to keep ourselves busy. Maybe a little too much.
It’s an idea that is consistently stressed and pressed upon us, that if you’re not constantly hard at work, you’re not looking hard enough for work to be done. With the mentality of the busy bee permeating so much of our culture – the all-encompassing idea that we have to always, always, always be doing – it’s little wonder that we find ourselves afraid to stop for just five minutes to take a breath, lest we be labeled as “lazy” and “underachiever” by peers and coworkers.
It’s very sad to see such a phenomenon in action, not only because it just allows the silent killer STRESS to find a foothold in our lives, but at its core the busy bee principal is such a counter-productive one; why do we go out of our way to create unimportant tasks where there are none simply for the sake of it?
Are we really so afraid of letting ourselves hit the pause button on life for a few minutes and letting our minds take a well-deserved break once in a while?
I’m sure we’ve all seen it happen – A friend or co-worker approaches you and, with exasperated breath, unloads about how they’ve got too much going on, how they’ve taken on too many responsibilities, work is towering over threatening to bury them alive, you’ve heard it before. And then, as soon as they free up even the smallest gap in their daily calendar, what happens but that they go actively digging through their files and stalking the hallways looking for something new to occupy their newfound, precious few moments of restful bliss. And, just a guess…I’m sure you’ve done it yourself.
I say, take advantage of a little down-time when it comes your way! Should you kick your chair back into full recline mode, flop your feet up on your desk and settle in with a bowl of pretzels? No, probably not. But that’s not to say that we can’t enjoy a few minutes of quiet contemplation every day to get our minds back in order. In fact, there are any number of ways to make the most of a little free time while still allowing for a nice slice of mental vacation. Try to:
- Take five to clean up / reorganize your desk
- Give an old friend a quick call to just say “hello”
- Catch up the news of the day
- Stretch and go out for a breath of fresh air
There’s a fine line between productive and needless busy-work. Rather than forcing extra and unnecessary tasks on yourself, remember to take full advantage of the calm when it comes your way. The most important thing is: make your time advantageous for you.