Sometimes it is beneficial to do nothing rather than keeping to a tight schedule. I have found that the more time I take to relax each week has contributed to the quality of work I complete. In a society that demands of us to stay busy and productive, taking some time to refocus becomes a refreshing change to the rat race we often find ourselves scurrying around in.
While exiting the hamster wheel of “busy”, I found that it is important to create space for “down-time.” It has taken me a while to get used to spending odd hours of free time, but I learned that if I can manage the time well, I step back into my busy life feeling more confident and in control.
My strategy? Scheduling in small spaces of time to allow for activities or opportunities that pop up. My college self was practically an expert at this. How many times have you or an acquaintance bounced from studying to pick-up ultimate frisbee to class or work?
Making time to refocus is a commitment – if you want to build the habit, you have to put in the work. It often feels awkward to take some well-deserved free time, especially when everyone else around you is busy keeping up with their own schedules. However, if you focus on quality time, it gets easier and easier because you will see the benefits.
After graduating college and (finally) settling into somewhat of a routine, it took a while for me to loosen up and allow myself free time in which I had no obligations. It was surprisingly difficult to keep myself from scheduling my whole day, but what I did to solve the problem was to schedule fun things that I enjoyed. Perhaps among cleaning, laundry, and work, I would get in an hour to go slacklining or running. Maybe I would spend my evening reading. After evaluating my lifestyle and goals, I found that I could incorporate minimalism was by simplifying my busy schedule in favor of doing things I enjoy. Isn’t that a cornerstone of minimalism anyway?
As busy as we get (and as much as we like it), taking some time to do something recreational or fun without the pressure of deadlines and goals is refreshing. By limiting the “must do” activities every day, I allow myself some time to refocus. Take an afternoon to pause and do something spontaneous – for your enjoyment, not because it was on your to-do list. Pass it on!