Downtime is a good thing 2020.08.06
It’s the 26th of March, 2020. Around this time of the year, people are making plans to travel locally or abroad for the Golden Week holidays. Golden Week usually starts during the last week of April and continues into the first week of May. It’s a nice proper holiday; almost a week off. With the the current pandemic looming and lingering no one is sure what the situation will be like in the next couple of months so all ideas about a mini-vacation have been cast aside. Another thing that is usual and eagerly anticipated is cherry blossom picnics. To hinder the spread of the CoVid19 all picnics were banned but people still took to the parks for a lesiurely walk to admire the blooms.
The appearance of blooms is generally a signal that the weather is changing and on it’s heels are warmer temperatures and enjoyable days spent doing outdoor activities. The Governor of Tokyo declared that for the weekend of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of March, 2020, all citizens should act responsibly and stay indoors as the city was faced with an ever increasing daily rate of infection. Work was cancelled and I had two days to myself. What should I do? I had grand plans of studying Japanese for hours on end and working on a project that had been practically growing mould on my desk as it had been there for so long.
All those exciting thoughts of making headway with my project and Japanese study went out the window. As Saturday dawned and I realised time was not my enemy, I moved at a more convenient pace and although a study group came together at my sharehouse, I enjoyed talking with my friends and hanging out more than anything. On Sunday, a rare snowfall greeted everyone when they arose, everything was blanketed in snow by eight o’ clock in the morning. Alas, it was another day of trying to study but the constant flow of sharehouse mates was a welcome distraction.
I rarely have downtime so my friend said to me that maybe taking it easy on these two unexpected days off was not a bad idea. I had recently read that downtime is a good thing. It is not as if you are a loser or less of a person for taking a break. Life seems as if it does not give you any time to slow down but remember who is in control. Time off improves our well-being.
Quote by physicist Leonard Mlodinow, “Though some may consider “doing nothing” unproductive, a lack of downtime is bad for our well-being, because idle time allows our default network to make sense of what we’ve recently experienced or learned.”
Not taking a break causes tunnel vision as one only focuses short-term, wanting to achieve things now. When you power through things trying to achieve results now, you eventually suffer from burn-out and are less productive. Dale Carnegie advises that we rest before we get tired. How proactive is that!
Take time to reflect and analyse progress. When you take a break, you get time to process your ideas. Think about while you are having a shower; weren’t some of your best ideas conceived there?
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I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.