Monday, April 8, 2013

Decluttering your time

I was thinking about time spent today and what's considered "downtime" as opposed to what's being "lazy". I am reminded every so often (on various blogs and podcasts) that downtime is actually a very necessary ingredient for creativity, simply because our brain needs room to ponder before it can come up with ideas. I think in general too, our brains are less stressed when we don't jam pack our day full of busyness and stuff. For an introverted person, especially, I find I also need that space to just be in my head and let the thoughts rumble around a bit. Without that time to breathe, I always feel rushed and hurried and unable to focus when I'm actually at work/school.

We live in a super busy society, so it's really easy to feel guilty for not constantly filling up every day with commitments. But ask yourself if you really love each of those things you're committed to do. Are they necessary to get you to the next stage in your goals or are they just time-fillers so you have something on your schedule? Do you stress over feeling like you never have a minute to catch your breath? Sometimes it's hard to know what to cut, but asking some of these types of questions really help. It may just come down to the fact that you don't want to have to be somewhere every evening of the week. Maybe you can ax the commitment on a couple nights and relax at home instead?

Or maybe you always feel like you're treading water and barely able to offer the minimum amount of effort to your commitments because you're always tired and cranky. I know that's how I've felt about my school schedule this year. I think a large reason for that is with my introverted nature, having commitments every day of the week was not healthy for me. I realized that if I cut out a couple classes this term, I could schedule the rest to only fall on two days a week, giving me the space and time to both relax and to brainstorm on my school projects a little more thoroughly. For me, that downtime is necessary to feel sane and unstressed and to give my best effort on the days I do go in. For someone else, their priorities may be different so their schedule would lay out differently.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you ever stop to analyze your time commitments and/or purposefully schedule do-nothing time?


  1. I find that I have to schedule a certain percentage "do nothing" time or else I just become really agitated and angry. I love being around people and doing things, but there are times where I just need to be alone to do my own thing and think about stuff, too.

  2. Your post is so similar to what I was struggling with this past weekend; feeling incredibly guilty because I was TOTALLY milking my free time and not being productive.

    Choosing to have some down-time to do anything (or nothing) is healthy, but I think that so many people (myself included) struggle with the idea of "doing nothing; it's so counter-intuitive, when you think about it!


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