We live in an incredibly fast paced world. We judge ourselves (and others) on our level of activity (read: busyness) and on how much we’ve accomplished in a day. We push and push and push and still don’t feel we’ve gotten enough done. We finish the day with plenty of things left on our to do list and we’re not even sure we’re proud of what we did get done. We’re tired. NO exhausted. So, what do we do?
Nothing. Yes, nothing.
We take more time in our day to be intentional about doing nothing.
I was listening to one of my favorite authors and public speakers recently, Brendon Burchard, author of High Performance Habits, and he reminded me of something I had heard and practiced years ago. He mentioned that studies have shown people who are most productive throughout their day take regularly scheduled breaks. Optimally, working for no more than 50 minutes before taking a break.
At first you may think, “if I take breaks throughout my day, I’ll run out of time to get ALL the things done”. But what if the opposite is true? What if those breaks allow you to complete those tasks better, with clearer vision, more efficiency and your productivity each day gets better? That’s exactly what these studies found.
Think about the last time you “got a ton accomplished” at work yet, you came home exhausted and yelled at your kids or spouse. So tired you didn’t feel like cooking and made poor food choices or reached for wine to wind down. These behaviors are due to feeling depleted. Our bodies weren’t designed to simply go, go, go, using up all the energy throughout the day and only recharging at night. You need to regularly recharge throughout the day.
Think about recharging your brain and body the same way you think about keeping your phone charged. You don’t just let the phone go until it dies, right? You probably check it a few times throughout the day to make sure it has a charge. Especially, if you need it for something important like filming a video, using the GPS or taking an important call. So why don’t you do that with your own energy level?
I’ll confess, I’m out of habit on this too and am writing this as much as a reminder for myself as I am writing it as a tip for you.
These short breaks during the day don’t have to be anything special and don’t have to take very long. Just a couple of minutes will do wonders to recharge your brain and get you ready to complete the current task like a champ or to move on to the next one with a fresh outlook.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3
Each time to sit down to do a project or work on something set the timer on your phone for 50 minutes.
When the timer goes off first, close your eyes to relieve the eye strain and tell your brain it’s time to rest. Take three deep breaths in/out – flooding your brain with oxygen and waking up new thoughts.
Then stand up and do something for a minute or two – get a glass of water, do a couple jumping jacks, walk around the building or the block, step outside, turn your face to the sun and take a few deep breaths, say a prayer, meditate, maybe do a couple yoga poses (that’s what I do😊) – do anything that’s relaxing to the brain and the eyes.
You might just be amazed at how great you feel and how much more energized you are to get back to it.
We can all benefit from doing a little more nothing in our lives. I know I sure can.
Until next time, be well friends!