Find Time For Yourself.

While we all occasionally think about passing the day away swinging in a hammock, lazily browsing through a bookstore, or pursuing some other leisurely activity, we usually can’t find the time – or justification – for allowing ourselves to do so.

“We don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing,” says author Thomas Moore. “If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.”

But studies have shown that “wasting time” is important for our health, happiness, and productivity. The problem is, some of us are so wired for activity we’ve forgotten how to do nothing. But it’s worth re-learning relaxation. Here are some tips for making it happen:

  • Schedule downtime. If the calendar guides your life, use it to make your life better by scheduling “wasted time”.
  • Go rogue. Occasionally, you just need to step away from a big problem or challenging question. Even a short walk, quick meaningless chat, or moment of Zen can get your brain firing more efficiently.
  • Turn off your smartphone. Simple and easy enough.
  • Say it and mean it. Let people know when you need a moment to yourself, and don’t let them intrude on it.
  • Practice doing nothing. At first, doing nothing might seem awkward. Force yourself to embrace it a few times and you’ll find it easier – and more rewarding – over time.

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