It seems like today the standard way to hold yourself up amongst others is to tell them how busy you are.
Ask someone how they’ve been and a likely response is:
I’m doing good. So busy with everything.
The usual response to that is:
Well, busy is better than the alternative…
I don’t know when the changeover happened or maybe it’s always been this way, but people like to be busy and on the go all the time. Then it seems like they get burned out and crash for a couple days. It’s hard to find a balance today.
The trouble is that being busy doesn’t mean that you’re contributing to the life that you want to have. I go back to the idea that you are what you do every day. So all the things you do to keep yourself busy during the day are the things that define your life.
The opposite side of the busy world is the idea that if you’re not busy all the time that you’re lazy.
Laziness is being unwilling to work or use energy. That seems pretty apt.
But is that necessarily a bad thing all the time?
I don’t know if our bodies or our minds are built to be busy all the time. We need time to rest and simply exist without needing to expend energy.
Here are some of the reasons I think it’s a good thing to embrace laziness sometimes.
1. Contemplate Yourself
When you’re alone just yourself with nothing going on you’re forced to contemplate your life including yourself. That’s kind of scary for some people.
I’m talking about being completely alone with only your mind.
No phone. No TV. Nothing.
I think it’s good to just sit or lay by yourself sometimes to contemplate life. Think about yourself, what you want to do, how you’re feeling and all those good things that define who you are.
If you get caught up in being busy all the time you won’t know if what you’re doing is what you want to be doing.
2. Contemplate Work
During your contemplation also think about your work. It’s a big part of your life and since we only get one life it’s important to make sure that your work is adding to the life you want to live. I don’t think your work necessarily needs to be your passion, but it should perhaps allow you to contribute and pursue your passions.
3. Contemplate Your Relationships
This is also time you can use to contemplate your relationships. You can determine if you’re surrounding yourself with the right people. You can determine if you’re being giving to the people that matter most to you.
Reading kind of gets lost in the busy world today. It can seem wasteful to some to sit and read for hours, but it’s enjoyable. It stimulates the brain and you can learn from both non-fiction and fiction. I also like reading a couple of weekly local papers. They’re not the daily papers with the news, but more story-focused.
Sleep is important for our health and I don’t like that it’s almost a badge of honor to not get enough sleep. We should embrace sleep and try to work in as much as we can.
It might require leaving something out of your life, but usually there are some activities that could take a backseat to getting a good night’s sleep each day.
When was the last time you played? There are lots of different ways to play. You could play a board game with your spouse. You could play some kind of game with a child or with someone in the family. You could play a sport or do some kind of hobby that is simply fun and enjoyable.
Play is not a waste of time.
Healthy playtime leads to healthy adulthood.
Use your idle time to create things. Write poems. Write novels. Compose music. Paint. Sculpt. The world is a great place and only your imagination is your limit when it comes to all the different things you can create.
I like walking. I walk almost every day. It’s a good time to be alone with my thoughts. But my wife also comes with me most days and it’s a good time for us to chat about anything. Although sometimes we simply walk in silence. It’s a nice break from the business of the workday.
9. Remove Clutter
I like to take time once in a while to look around and figure out what I can remove from my life. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of being busy, making money and acquiring things. But that leads to a life of clutter.
My wife gives me grief sometimes when I continually get rid of things, but how much do we really need to live? I don’t need to keep a pair of shoes that I haven’t used in a year. I don’t need to keep a little memento. I have the memory.
I don’t like keeping things I could use at some point in the future.
When I walk I mentioned that I sometimes have a conversation with my wife. But a lot of the time I simply listen. There is so much going on in the world and if we’re busy all the time it’s difficult to stop and pay attention. You miss so much when you’re head is down in the work you’re doing all the time.
Do you feel bad when you take some time to be lazy? I’m not saying that we should be lazy all the time. I’m just saying that I think the balance has gotten a little out of whack recently. We’re all connected to the world at all times. We brag about how busy our lives are, but perhaps that’s not such a good thing. Embrace the time you get to be lazy because there can be some amazing benefits for your life.