X : What did you do the whole day?
Y : Nothing.
X : Wasted whole day, doing nothing.
Y : No, utilised the day doing nothing.
We are always so busy measuring utilisation of every minute of our lives. We are occupied and stressed with so much done and yet have so much left to achieve. The length of day has remained same for the recorded history and everyone from our forefathers to our future generations have all got the same amount in hours ,minutes and seconds, not an iota less here or there. Yet it surprises me how we are always running out of time even with so much automation and technological advancement. Older generations had many manual and laborious activities as part of their lifestyle yet they were more relaxed, slept more number of hours than us and stress was a distant thing to them.
If we have not lost on amount of time available to us and have faster ways to do the things, then why are we still lagging and always busy with something left to be attended to. The reason is may be we have allowed too much intrusion in our lives that claims much of our time. Some of these intruders are the technology, gadgets, meaningless connections and thoughts. Our lifestyle has become such that we are almost everywhere but in depth we are no where. We are always doing something but if we try to measure the productivity of all the activities, we struggle to list them down.
Screens and gadgets take away most of our time. Live feeds which maybe related to news or status updates on social media have become staple to our lifestyles. We are updated with everything, losing nothing and may be also gaining nothing other than the satisfaction to have utilised our time and the free data available to us. There is so much being produced as part of entertainment than it was in past, yet we are always lacking on options for what to see next. The speed of our downloads outruns all the available sources. However, if we value the content we invested oursleves in, we will have sincere quality dearth there.
Everything today is measured with grandeur around it. It can be a birthday party or a marriage function, even hosting a friend’s family. We focus on return gifts and dishes served more than the emotional connect we have with the people. This is making our connections formal and commercial rather than emotional and fulfilling. We are always preparing for something, adding something extra to everything. The craze for winning the extra available takes a ride on our choices. We look for the extra available everywhere from fries in combo meals to discount on electronics. Preparation and setting up takes so much on our time and senses that we actually end up getting exhausted than joyous. Celebrations are for joy and togetherness but we transform them into the projects and achievements.
The result of this lifestyle is felt by our senses which get no relief and are always busy doing something. We over utilise all our senses, our fingers are always busy scrolling the screens for new feeds, our ears crave for fresh air and our eyes long for some shut down from regular strains they are put to.
The need for all of us is to find some free time, that we can devote to ourselves. Thoughtless, screen free and connected to ourselves.
As Rachel Janet mentions in the book “The joy of doing nothing” , we need to give ourselves periodic thoughtless stress busting moments in the day. These moments should be part of our day to day schedule in home as well as work place. These moments can prove to be rejuvenating periods for our mental and physical well being in the chaos we live with.
As we are all so fond of list, following list can add to our journey from being overworked to being judiciously productive.
• Cut on the screen time. Let us try it on ourselves along with preaching it to kids, may be the practise can rid us of preaching altogether.
• Don’t overestimate your capacity. Give yourself free air.
• Live clutter free and accumulate less stuff. Clear space is source of positive energy.
• Take breaks in office.
• Let the app and social notifications wait, all of them are not urgent and to be replied asap.
• Simplify connections, choose more of communication over material and formal exchange.
• Take time for yourself, silent and deep.
The idea of boredom if we are free is an overly rated thing, free time can be pristine and soothing. In the era when consumerism is focusing on keeping us online 24*7, get off the line and measure the length and breadth of life. Let us sincerely and deliberately cut off the ties that are taking too much of us and having no value add, we will for sure get richer with our time. Sitting idle is not worthless but the much needed therapy for ourselves.
X : What did you do the whole day?