As I write this, I’ve actually spent the day doing nothing. It’s a beautiful space that one can be in – spending time with your thoughts, or learning to ignore them mindfully. Watching the thoughts arise and leave. Like the deep belly breath – inhale fresh energy, exhale stale thoughts. It’s about understanding you are not your thoughts. You can be ok to be with them while doing absolutely nothing!
We live in a distracted world, where we need a constant source of noise. You might reach out for an upbeat music tack on a drive, or you might need to watch a video while eating delicious food. The point is – you are constantly doing something…often more than 1 task at a time. Multitasking may be good for some but should it be a major part of your life?
In my opinion – No! There was a time when I packed my day with tasks and long to-do lists to get the maximum productivity from my 9 hours at work. Post work, I’d ensure I’d either dance along in my class learning a new move or explore the city. Whatever it may be, I was always doing something. All this was happening without tuning into my authentic self that was constantly being ignored.
Even as we grow up, our mind is filled with tasks by well-meaning elders and we are constantly told what is to be done. It’s no wonder the act of busy-ness soon occupies our lives; often making it impossible to discern what is good for our mental wellbeing.
So, there I was, in a full-time job, ensuring I’m on my toes, deadlines are met, friends are in touch! I’m sure many of you may identify with this as well. However, as I spent more time with myself, the art of doing nothing soon revealed itself by showing me something I had missed all along. The beauty of stillness only needs to be experienced and goes beyond expression through words.
It’s in this space I realized, I missed connecting with me. The little joys, understanding my needs, and fulfilling what I truly wanted to do in life. I never believed in following the herd without using my own reasoning. Yet, here I was, struggling to do nothing because I’ve always been busy. A good friend suggested out of concern, “You need to take 2 days off,” and I laughed it off. “Me? I have many things to do,” I’d say.
A spiritual realization need not necessarily happen in the mountains. It can happen over time, when you work on yourself and try to connect deeply with your own journey (without the noise). So, I turned down the noise, and connected deeply with myself (meditation helps!) to listen to what my inner voice was saying.
I knew it all along but didn’t have the time to listen. I started doing less, taking time out to listen to what I wanted, and ensuring I take the steps to fulfill my needs.
Today, I may not have accomplished all the tasks on my to-do list, but one thing I’d know for sure – I’m mastering the art of doing less while accomplishing much more than I’d ever hope for!
5 Ways to do Achieve More by Doing Less
I’m sharing these pointers because I know some of my readers would still like to pack a punch while doing less 🙂 I hope these help!
A lot of our expectations of life are based on what somebody wants for us – often, these being the primary caregivers. Prioritizing what’s best for you will help you cut through the clutter during the day, and know what works while ensuring you have your focus on me-time.
Delegate and Eliminate
Delegating tasks is essential for effective time management. It also prevents you from doing it all during the day which ultimately leads to a burnout. I’d say, delegate what you can, know what’s important to you, and eliminate the rest. This includes tasks+people who do not add value to your life.
The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent productivity hack if you have lots to do and are already feeling stressed. You break your workday into 25-minute slots and take a 5 minute break after every 25 minutes. Each time interval taken is referred to as 1 Pomodoro. Once you complete 4 Pomodoros, you can take a long break that should be of 15-20 minutes. This technique is useful to eliminate distractions while keeping a tab on the actual amount of work done during the 25-minute schedule.
I use a timer such as the Clockify app that supports me to focus better and take time off as well.
Set your Intention
Your intention for the day can be set in the morning or the night before. This supports to smoothen out the way your day appears while keeping it slightly predictable or aligned to a routine. To analyze further, you can ask yourself these questions –
- How many things are truly urgent?
- What requires my immediate attention?
- What can I reschedule for later? (It could also include scheduling ‘worrying’ for a later time!)
- What can I do to add more joy+hope to my schedule? (This can include scheduling time for doing nothing, or a hobby of your choice.)
You may feel you don’t have the time for a particular task, but it’s actually distractions that are taking up your free hours! To enjoy doing nothing requires time during the week and you would run short of time if you are faced with too many distractions.
- Be observant to your schedule in the day – how much time is spent on distractions?
- Set a timer for your phone to restrict the hours of usage for popular apps
- Ask yourself if spending time on a particular distraction is worth it?
- Understand how much you need time for yourself to automatically train your mind to look out for the best for yourself
The art of doing nothing is something to be learned in today’s times. Try it and do let me know in the comments below.