Today we have our guest author Mona back (loud clapping and cheering from the crowd!). Remember her piece on the perfect Easter Sunday in Berlin? Well, today’s post is a little different. Mona talks about the productiveness of doing nothing. What’s productive about doing nothing, you ask? I guess you just have to keep on reading 😉
The productivity of doing nothing
„How was your day and what did you do?“ my mother asks me almost every day. „I didn’t really do anything today“ I answer. Urgh. There it is. This little inner voice of mine, that makes me feel uncomfortable as soon as I give this answer. That feeling of a guilty conscience because I didn’t do anything that day. I didn’t go to work or Uni nor did I do anything productive. Nothing mentionable anyways. But why do I feel so bad about that? Why does this little voice in my head keep telling me that I just wasted a whole lot of valuable lifetime today by doing absolutely nothing?
STOP! Sometimes I just have to remind myself of all the things I did have accomplished lately. I worked hard every day to get where I am now. I’ve been so stressed and burned out over the last months finishing my studies and working part-time. So don’t I have every right to just lean back and indulge in that feeling of sweet idleness.
But why is doing nothing so hard to enjoy?!? Why do we feel so bad about it and eventually end up doing just about anything to get rid of that voice in our head? When I am at that point I either end up meeting with some friends or even start preparing the next tax refund. What is wrong with me?
Another thing is that I really can’t be alone anymore when I don’t have anything planned. As soon as I don’t have any work to do or a date or an appointment to go to, I start feeling lonely. Even though I know I am not. But there is that feeling of intense FOMO. Aaand again: What the f*** is wrong with me?
In times of social media and digitalization, we have almost forgotten how to handle ourselves or how to spend free gaps in our daily routine. But this is a huge problem. We need some kind of silence and breaks throughout our busy lifestyle. Otherwise, we run the risk of feeling exhausted and empty, which leads us to that one thing we absolutely can not stand – productiveness. That’s why we need to start to embrace the silence and start spending time with just ourselves again.
Here are three reasons we need that break in our daily routines and how it is even good for our health:
1. Boost your productivity
We often confuse effort with productiveness. For example: A day spent at the office working like a hamster in a wheel gives us the feeling of really having accomplished something. But far too often this stubborn work manner can be very harmful if you want to work efficiently. Try taking a break. Sit, relax and think about nothing for a few minutes. Your mental ability will regain strength and you’ll have new power to spent on your workload.
2. Recharge your batteries
When you are under a lot of pressure or stress, your body and soul pay the price. Only after a while, you’ll realize what this way of working has cost you. You feel empty and weak. We need to do our body a favour and let it rest to recharge your energy levels! Only after our mental batteries are fully loaded again is it time to keep on going.
3. Get to know yourself better
I’ve already mentioned this in the beginning of the post. We can barely handle being alone with ourselves. We often mistake it as loneliness, which is by all means a very negative word. Nobody wants to be alone or feel left out of their social life. And I don’t mean the social life you lead online (I know, we are all a little bit guilty) , but rather the kind where you interact with real people, the feeling you have when you are part of a group. Humans are meant to be part of some kind of social gathering. Otherwise, we suffer from that hurtful feeling we call loneliness. But being alone with yourself does not mean you are lonely. We need do accept that and enjoy the company of just ourselves.
I know it might seem hard to do nothing and feel really good about it at the same time. But the truth is, when you are a real workaholic or you are constantly under a lot of pressure in your daily routine, your body and soul will thank you for the rest. You just have to start embracing those few moments you can get and be thankful for them. Don’t let anybody else give you the feeling that you are wasting your lifetime by doing nothing. You are actually doing yourself a big favour.
I hope you enjoyed this little rant and could get some useful tips on the way. What are your steps to recharge your mental batteries? Let’s chat in the comments.