As many of us are pulled in various directions by life’s demands it can be challenging to find quiet moments in our day to recharge. The pace at which information is exchanged and available makes it all the more difficult to slow down without missing something! If you’re like me, when I do find a moment of downtime I begin to think, “I should be getting something done.”
The much-discussed opinion piece, “The Busy Trap,” by Tim Reider that recently appeared in The New York Times addressed this topic of busyness. Reider argues that being busy causes us to miss out on much needed idle time that is good for the brain. He goes on to say that this idleness “is necessary for getting any work done.” The article created quite a buzz, but it got me thinking. Do I typically benefit from taking a step back from a project or decision? Do I often return to the task refreshed and with new ideas? Yes.
College or graduate school is a busy time. You are immersed in classes, campus life, and decision-making on various levels. It can be a struggle to allow yourself the time to “just be,” let alone sleep. Add on the desire to figure out what you want to do with your life or even assess career interests, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you have to get done.
However, I do believe it is important to find uninterrupted idle time. At the very least, as you wind down from your day, allow yourself the opportunity to find a quiet moment to recharge. Place your cell phone across the room. Close your laptop for a few minutes. It may end up being a “2-for-1.” You take extra care of yourself and, in turn, discover something (a new idea, interest, etc.) that you may have missed had you kept going and going and going….