We can’t be powered on all the time. Even our computers take breaks — either by sleeping, shifting to screensaver mode or (unfortunately) putting the spinning beach ball or rotating hourglass on display.
When our computers do that, we often get frustrated and are anxious while we wait for them to get back to doing things. If they remain stuck, we reboot … and that usually does the trick. Smartphones crash, tablets can get sluggish under the weight of too much to process, hard drives fill up and make it harder for devices to get things done.
We are no different.
Sometimes slowing down isn’t enough. It can cause the same frustration as a slow computer. Sometimes you just need to stop. Don’t do anything. Just take it as it comes and have no agenda. If you’re a writer, don’t write. If you’re a gardener, don’t get your hands dirty. If you’re a small business owner, close up shop for the day and simply … don’t do anything.
Pro athletes have an off-season where they can recharge. They have opportunities to not do anything until it is time to get back on the field and get to work. Then they go full tilt.
We aren’t designed to go full tilt all the time. We’ll break down, just like an athlete would if they went full tilt all year round. And it actually takes the zest out of life when we don’t power down every once in a while.
So after you’re done reading this, power down. Take a break. Step away from work and go somewhere else. Don’t do anything.
Photo credit: Dennis Hyer (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)