By Millennial Women (Lindsay, Melanie & Elise) • June 26, 2019•Writers in Residence
Ask anyone how they are doing, and one of the most common responses (other than maybe “fine”) is “busy.” How are you? Busy. How’s your summer? Busy. How is so-and-so? Busy.
Certainly nothing is wrong with being busy- none of us want to sit at home or at work bored to tears. It can even be a good thing! The best kind of busy is when you’re able to fill your professional and personal calendars with work and commitments that you are excited about and are meaningful to you. But—as a society—don’t you think we could all benefit from taking some time here and there to just slow down? And here’s a tougher question: are we as millennials the worst offenders? Is that fact that we’re so comfortable with technology causing us to be always plugged in? It’s very likely that a lot of us have little to no downtime on a consistent basis.
We’re certainly not suggesting that everyone suddenly make drastic changes in their schedule. We all know that taking things off the schedule is far harder than adding them on, and changes don’t happen overnight. And we certainly don’t suggest that downtime or “time to do nothing” means you just sit and stare at a wall. It can be anything you enjoy doing that’s relaxing: go for a walk, read a book for fun, or watch your favorite show—just without trying to check your email constantly. What we’re suggesting is for this month –and we encourage you to join us!—consider adding some non-busy times to your schedule, and see if you notice some changes. Still unsure? Here are some of our reasons:
1. None of us are wired to be “on” all the time. Human beings are not computers. But, even when computers are acting up, consider how we fix them: we turn them off, and turn them back on.
2. Having downtime can increase creativity and problem solving—dealing with the same work or problem or issue non-stop means you can’t get away from it long enough to ever see it from a different angle.
3. Scheduling downtime can work as a refresher and can increase focus when you return to your regularly scheduled day. You may actually be more productive since you took a break, not less.
Even doing this once a week can be a great start. Give it a try- and let us know how it goes!