If you have worked hard for what seems like half your life to either get out of debt and/or build up an empire all of your own, is it hardly a surprise that you need downtime? It seems everybody needs downtime in one way or another these days, but when we talk about the concept of downtime, we must remember that it’s about quality rather than quantity. Downtime is something that we think we won’t ever do wrong, but what does it take to ensure that we are maximizing the quality of our downtime?
Stepping Away From Everything
For many of us, the reason vacations exist is that we can step away from everything physically so we have no choice but to switch off from it mentally. With many Devon holidays and numerous other locations that offer amazing plains of sea and sand, there are plenty of options for you. But in order to do it properly, you’ve got to make sure that you are stepping away from everything.
We live in a world where we can access emails on our phones but we also have that temptation just to log in on occasion. If you really want to have quality downtime and you are stepping away to go on vacation, make sure that it is as far removed from your life as possible. This means you will think twice about logging back in!
Why Downtime Is Not About “Zoning Out”
Everybody believes that downtime can just be about watching television. Downtime may feel worthwhile in this context, but if you are looking to rest and recuperate, watching something on Netflix still demands your attention. And you don’t have to go far to realize that if you’re watching television, you are naturally going to scroll on your phone and do something to occupy your mind. The real downtime for your brain is about learning to do nothing.
While there is a lot to be said for meditation and even going to the gym as a way to unwind, these are things that mean you are working towards a goal, which requires concentration. For proper downtime to take effect, you’ve got to learn to do nothing. While there are meditation practices that help you to place your focus on the present moment, this can require a lot of building up to ensure that you are not thinking. This is something worth pondering.
Do You Want To Idle?
Some people don’t like wasting time. You’ve worked so hard to get to a point that, no doubt, your brain is going in a million different directions. So if you really do not know how to switch off, one of the best approaches is to embody a distraction technique. If you are someone that really doesn’t know how to switch off, you may as well do something that will yield a positive goal. You could listen to podcasts or watch something that will benefit you, but if you are really looking to use downtime effectively, you need to feel like there is time to waste. The solution? Spend more time doing nothing.
You can go for a walk in the woods and leave all your devices at home or you can do dishes without needing to listen to something. And when you start to make these moments of downtime feel like absolutely nothing, this can be where you are benefiting yourself the most.
Why Doing Nothing Can Make You More Creative
While we have a brain that we feel we need to use or lose, there are a lot of benefits of doing nothing for our brain. When we allow ourselves the freedom to do what we want, this can help us feel more creative. There are institutions such as the Princeton Institute of Advanced Study where Albert Einstein was a member towards the end of his life that believed in the “magic” of doing nothing and offered much more freedom to its researchers as a result. With no schedules, workdays, or responsibilities it has been home to a number of amazing breakthroughs. This is something that we could all benefit from remembering.
If you really want to maximize the quality of your downtime, you must bear in mind that your brain has to shut off. You can venture away from everything to distract yourself but you can also take the time to redefine what downtime is for you, and also realize that there is a benefit to actually switching off. Downtime? It is all about quality.