When something is scarce, it becomes valuable. The less there is of it, the more valuable it becomes. Coffee, for example, used to be extremely expensive. Now, with better international shipping, a cup of coffee can be had almost anywhere. This is great news as a blog writer and future best-selling author. In the modern world, many things have become more available and thus, more economical. There is one thing that has become extremely rare. It may be something that many of us think has little or no value. The truth could not be more different.
What is this thing that has become more rare and is often overlooked for its extreme value? The answer is this – down time. In today’s world, we are so busy trying to accomplish as much as we can that taking a break can have many of us feeling guilty. We are so well connected that being ‘disconnected’ feels wrong. The other day I drove by a high school on my way home from work and what did I see at the bus stop? Roughly 5 kids all staring at their phones. I won’t get into the online verses personal connection, that is for another post. What is sad, is that we are always busy doing something.
I love to go for walks in nature. I see people walking, jogging or riding their bikes. If they are alone, they usually have headphones in or a phone in their hands. What is the cost of all of this business? Lack of connection with the most important person in our lives – ourselves. We spend so little time in our own heads, we often have no idea what is going on there. I hear so many people say “I just feel down and I don’t know why.” Maybe it is because we are not paying attention to the thoughts and emotions we are feeling? We are busy watching, reading, and listening to things that we drown out the voice coming from within. You know, the one that might have warned us something was bothering us before it became overwhelming!
How do I know this to be true? Because one of the people I have heard say these things more often lately is the man writing this blog. On more than one occasion feelings of dread or sadness have overcome me and I have had no idea why. Not only is this a negative feeling, but it is frustrating as hell. How can you fix something when you don’t even know what is wrong? How indeed! What we need to do is spend some time doing nothing. Just relaxing and being present. It will not only be good for our mental health, which is worth its weight in gold, but good for our productivity. How can doing nothing be good for productivity? We all have hundreds of million dollar ideas in our wonderful brains. The reason we usually never realize them, and act on them, is because it is too loud for us to even hear them.
I am not just talking at you, I am talking to the man at the keyboard. Today I leave for my first real vacation in over 4 years. I will be gone for a whole week. Do you know when the last time I took a week away from everything? Here is the sad part, neither do I. These blogs will be written and scheduled ahead of time. My fourth book that is due out in the next few months? It will have to wait. What will be true is my mind will be clearer and better able to complete that book and bring you insightful thoughts in future blogs after this week. I encourage all of you to schedule some downtime and do so soon. It will not only help you be more productive, it will be a goldmine for your mental health!