While having a schedule is a necessary component for a balanced life, there are times when it’s important to carve out time out to do, well, nothing at all.
The idea of scheduling in time for nothingness may sound contradictory or strange, especially in today’s ultra-busy world where we rush from one task to the next with schedules jam-packed full of things that need to be done. But while it may seem out of place, leaving some blank space in your schedule to ‘just let things happen’ is a crucial part of a healthy, balanced life.
Taking time to step back and let life unfold as it may might sound like a bit of a stretch, but amazing things happen when you give yourself some breathing room. Let’s explore some of those benefits and see how scheduling in time for serendipity can enhance your life.
Allows You to Recharge Your Batteries
We all know that all work and no play can lead to stress and burnout, but did you know that time off is essential for productivity as well? Studies show that you get more done when you step back and take time to recharge the mind and body. In fact, evidence points to increased productivity after a break, be it a vacation getaway or even a 30-second micro break. Carving out a break in your schedule enables you to relax and refresh, and return ready to be productive all over again.
Helps You to Achieve Balance
If you work or have responsibilities outside the home, then you know that finding balance between work and your personal life can be a challenge. Making time for serendipity though, will help you to better achieve that elusive work-life balance that we’re all striving for. It’ll give you time off to contemplate the important things, clarify your priorities, and provide a much needed breather from life in the fast lane.
In his famous essay, Paul Graham outlines the difference between what he calls the manager’s schedule and the creator’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is packed with meetings and appointments, while the creator’s schedule allows blocks of uninterrupted time to let the mind wander and focus and get into a flow. Allowing yourself free time is essential for creativity, and it’s important to give yourself space to breathe, think, and refocus your attention — even in the middle of busy, turbulent times.
Allowing yourself time off to recharge and refresh will give you something to look forward to — an oasis amidst the business of everyday life. Having a designated time off will also help you to feel less distracted while you’re working, keeping you on track and motivated to finish your projects.
Allows for Inspiration
Is your inspiration waning? Has your muse gone missing? It could be time to step back and recharge. Allowing yourself the luxury of doing nothing — or anything that you want — for a designated time will prove to be tremendously beneficial for your inspiration.
Finally, allowing yourself time to relax and be spontaneous will help you appreciate the small things in life. We spend so much of our time connected to devices or wrapped up with work, that we become used to the busyness and never really just experience life. Taking back time for serendipity will give you a chance to catch your breath, so to speak, and allow you to think of new ideas and opportunities that you wouldn’t have been able to come think about otherwise.
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As you know, planning is vital for bringing order to the chaos of everyday life and essential for getting things done. But equally important, is downtime. Taking time for serendipity is vital for creativity and inspiration, and for making memories. It will help you to be more thankful, will open up your mind to new possibilities, and is an all-around soul-soothing experience that’s vital in today’s world where “hustle is the new black”. By slowing down and stepping back, you’ll rediscover the joy in life and open the door to new and exciting adventures.
Stay open to the idea of spontaneity; you might be surprised at the opportunities that come your way when you’re least expecting them. Bottom line: Don’t schedule everything. Leave a little bit of white space for magic to happen!
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What is your greatest challenge in carving out time to refresh and recharge?