It’s Good To Be Idle

good to be idleIt’s good to be idle – every so often. Really, it is. Not every waking moment of every day has to be action filled or spent focused on reaching your goals or “winning the race.” Pick some time today to just sit and be quiet, and this is why…

First, being busy is often a mindless obsession of ours. We live in a world now where we are tethered not only to work but also to everyone around us 24×7 electronically or otherwise. We are conditioned (and quite well I might add) to react to every little beep and chirp on our smart phones and to do something when asked, on the demand, right that minute.

Life for many of us is no longer driven by plans and thought. Instead it is lived in an interrupt driven fashion where we jump to whenever anyone calls, texts, pages, etc. We are always engaged, always busy, always in demand.

But here is the deal… you need to disconnect. You need the downtime! We forget what it is like to sit and daydream and to use our imaginations… we forget what it is like to just sit still and how to just be without having to always be doing something.

Being busy… all of the time might not be the most productive way to live and sometimes it’s good to be idle just for the sake of being idle.

It’s Good To Be Idle

It’s good to be idle if for no other reason than it is typically in our quieter moments where we find inspiration, solutions, and answers to the things in life we are trying to solve. I believe it is when we are relaxed that we actually come up with our best ideas.

This Blog is a good example of the idleness – creativity loop… I can’t tell you how many ideas of what to write about that actually come to me the morning while I am in shower. That’s probably TMI but many answers come to me as I am idly going through my morning routines.

If you need new ideas then spend less time stressing over the solution and more time relaxing about the solution.

Perhaps it is time to stop working so hard and just let the ideas flow. When I was in college we were taught about the Fifth Discipline, and the one thing that stuck with me is that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is by ignoring it and thinking about other things. The reason being is that your mind will still be able to work on it in the background – it will if you let it – and the best way to allow that to happen is sometimes to just be idle.

And don’t get laziness confused with being idle, it is not about avoiding the work to be done, but instead, it is about giving your mind a break to come up with solutions in order to get the work that needs to be done with a better or fresher approach.

So for today, instead of asking, “What can you do and what actions can you take to get you closer to your goals?” I am going to ask this instead… “What can you NOT do today that will allow you sit quietly with your thoughts that will get you closer to your goals?”

It’s good to be idle – every once in awhile. Sometimes the best ideas are not discovered when you are chained to your desk or stuck in your office. They could very easily happen while you are out for a casual walk, reading a book, or even while in the shower… You never know.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 26 May 2012

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