"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. "
Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913) British banker, politician, and naturalist. “British Wild Flowers"
Busy, busy, busy. We’re all so busy! There is always so much to do! Paperwork to be dealt with, reports to write, phone calls to make, meals to be made, houses to be cleaned, ironing piles growing higher and higher and higher and that’s just the start! I am sure you can add to that without much prompting. I was reminded of this yesterday when the electricity company turned the power off for most of the day. They had warned us, but I hadn’t really thought about what impact it would have on me and what I could actually do during that time.
First there was the quiet. No machines humming away; no radio in the background. Just the distant sounds of the village and the closer sounds of the birds. We have an old fashioned phone in the office, so I knew I could be contacted, but there was no internet connection for my laptop and I knew that my battery would only last a certain amount of time. OK, there was the filing to do and I could have got out some paper and pens and written some articles that I am planning, or I could have done something domestic that didn’t involve power, but the sun was shining and somehow I didn’t feel like it. So I made a choice. I chose to take the opportunity afforded me and recharge my own batteries. I sat in the sunshine and read for a while, and then when I was hungry and remembered that I couldn’t make a cup of coffee, I decided to stroll down the one of the cafés in the village and have lunch and a good coffee with a magazine for company. It was lovely.
The power is back on and today I have achieved a great deal already and am focussed on whatever else I am aiming to get done. Yesterday’s interlude has recharged and refreshed me and I am now reaping the benefits. What about you? Do you ever allow yourself some time to just relax and unwind, even if only for a moment, or are you constantly driven by all the things that need to get done? If the power went off for the whole day where you are, how would you choose to spend the day?
In this case, I am recommending a period of doing nothing to help move you forward! Are you too busy to see what needs to be done? Sometimes when we’re right of the middle of things we become blinkered. Perhaps it is time to step back a moment and allow yourself time to clear your head. Then you can move forward renewed and ready to get stuck in there effectively!
Could it be that you can’t see what needs to be done because your head is so full of EVERYTHING! If you can’t manage to take the day off to de-clutter your brain, how about using your breaks to get away for a head-clearing walk in the fresh air? Everyone is entitled to break periods, so make sure you use them!
It is not necessarily selfish to take some time to yourself. If you can do it without heaping the burden of work onto someone else, then I can thoroughly recommend it. Just taking a little bit of time to indulge yourself and allowing yourself to enjoy the experience will make you feel so much better when you do return to the tasks in hand. If you can’t do it spontaneously, how about booking a day off from work? Make an appointment with yourself and enjoy it.
Have a bit of fun. Life can be really serious if we allow it to be, but we can choose to see it otherwise. Choose to do something actively enjoyable, be it a sport, dancing or just going for a stroll around your favourite place. Even sitting doing a crossword or number puzzle keeps your brain ticking over! Be actively cheerful - keep those facial muscles working by smiling at as many people as you can.
There are so many things that we have to do, like getting up in the morning, getting dressed, eating meals, drinking water etc. Some of it is to keep us going physically, other things we do to give meaning to our lives and to establish some sort of routine, as well as to keep ourselves and others clothed, fed and with a roof over our heads. However, by making time to do something you want to do you will most likely find that the rest becomes much more bearable. Take at least five minutes off today and every day. Tell yourself that this is your time and do something you’ve wanted to do for ages, even if it is doing nothing for that time. Just remember to keep breathing!
Imagine you had no electricity. How would you creatively spend your time? I actually went and bought some ribbon to finish off a scented bag I was making for a friend. I didn’t need electricity to stitch it on. Drawing and painting don’t need any electricity most of the time, neither does writing. If you play an instrument, it may be tricky if it is an electric one, but you can still practice! Get creative!
Many people find it hard to know what to do with time for themselves. How about getting together with someone and sharing the experience. You could indulge in some good old conversation! Make it a time to learn more about someone you thought you knew, as well as sharing more about your life and experiences. Take that break and reap the harvest of allowing yourself to be refreshed, reinvigorated and recharged.
Kate Harper is a Motivation Coach based in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Check out her website http://www.harpercoaching.com
She works with people from all over the world who are seeking change in their lives. If that is you, please take a look at Kate's website. Her special interests are the promotion of Wellbeing and Self Confidence through her coaching.
"The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult. " Madame Marie du Deffand
Take your first step today and contact Kate.
Just click on e-courses on my website to get my free 7 day mini e-Course on Procrastination - http://www.harpercoaching.com/