Most business owners work, work work. Even play gets somehow turned into work. But are you actually getting things done during the work, work, work phase? Reports show that in an eight hour day, most employees work about three hours. The rest of it is taken up with eating, texting, searching for new jobs. Lots of diversions that don’t necessarily make us feel good because they are not quality downtime or even considered downtime.
Parents can feel guilty doing anything for themselves. Business owners can be feel guilty not being available 24/7 for clients. Employees can feel guilty for not looking like they are uber-working even if they are actually working.Why don’t we just admit that humans need quality downtime and that is a good thing? And if we live in a nation of overschedulers, something many learn in the crazed school system with its ringing of the Pavlovian Bells and constant learning metrics, why not schedule it in?
Try scheduling quality downtime into your week. There are 168 hours in a week and 10,080 minutes in a week. Certainly, you can start out by carving out 10 hours for your own rejuvenation?
If you add up all the time you spend doing things you don’t even care about, it will astonish you. Try doing this for even one day. And a lot it occurs during times you have convinced yourself you need to be productive or a working as an employee or on your business.
I’m all for moving up our downtime – which can be something fun or even a meditative snooze – closer to the tops of our “things we love to do lists.”
You can think ahead to the end of your life and take a look at what you spent your time on. This exercise will show you how much time you could have spent doing things you wanted to – quality downtime.
Perhaps, make a list of things you consider downtime, but that you’d enjoy doing. Could be drinks with friends in an outdoor cafe, a walk along a garden path, a creative venture, a phone call with someone you’ve been meaning to call for three years.
Then make plans with yourself to do them, almost a self-date. Let’s face it, you are going to spend a lot of time almost rebelling against the “be productive every second of the day” mantra, why not acknowledge that and transform your life into the one you want it to be.
Take time to relax and rejuvenate, however that manifests itself for you.
If I didn’t walk every day (barring snowstorms), I’d be a crazed lunatic. I consider it scheduled quality downtime. Also going out to dinner. Not a cook, don’t enjoy chopping things up and sauteing them in a pan. But I do like going to a restaurant and eating someone else’s food.
Ask yourself one question: What will take me away from my business for a few hours that will actually lift me up so I’m better at my business?
Yours in restfulness!
ps: In your newfound downtime, consider my fun program: Wild Imagination Painting. Think of it as Rejuvenation For The Soul. Two hours of downtime to relax with art and conversation. And leave with your own magnificent creations (Up to three!).
Attitude: Liberating, Replenishing, Fun
Cost: $54 for new participants, $49 for returning and for those signing up with more than one friend, and those 65 and over.