"Shifting from mindful to mindless work gives the brain time to process complex problems in a relaxed state and also restores the energy necessary for the next round of mindful work.
… you need to challenge the worries that keep you reacting compulsively instead of engaging consciously…
- From “Managing Your Day-to-Day”, edited by Jocelyn Glei
Can we just give ourselves a bit of a break, and acknowledge that there is no such thing as wasting time?
In a world focused on productivity, on doing more more more with less less nothing, there is this strange idea that we need to squeeze every moment of every day. A friend of mine during a Mastermind meeting recently talked about his day, where he had taken his children to the doctor, moved furniture, dealt with legal issues – and then felt like he’d “gotten nothing done all day!”
Let’s try a different metaphor:
Sometimes You’re Bubble Wrap; Sometimes You’re Chrome
There is little that satisfies as much as a sheet of bubble wrap. I’m betting that even mentioning it has some of you pressing your index finger and thumb together. It’s a simple and pure action/reaction, and we get a little neurochemical jolt of satisfaction as it goes “pop”.
Sometimes our thoughts are like that – whether it’s playing a game of Dots, or washing the silverware, or knocking our desks. It’s a limited-time engagement, and when we’re done, there’s not a lasting effect – the screen you solved is replaced by a new unsolved one, your son grabs a fork, or you pick up that notebook from the right-angle it’s set at.
Here’s the bit of self-love and compassion to try and wrap your head around: That’s a totally valid use of your time.
In fact, it’s less like bubble wrap and more like chrome – or leather, maybe, if you prefer that metaphor. Those moments you spend enjoying yourself are like rubbing and polishing and making the material of You shiny, supple, beautiful. Now, there is certainly such a thing as polishing chrome or leather too much, and there are some things that work better than others. Dots may work to calm the mind, but maybe a quick yoga routine will work better. Maybe the ultimate way to organize your desk is actually to konmari it and have nothing there.
That’s all matter for a Practice post. This post is about Love, and specifically the self-love that stops berating you about “wasting time.” You’re using time, sure, but if you’re using it to polish the chrome, that’s ok.