Growing Your Superpowers Through Intentional Inactivity

Lake I sit by at work

I am constantly looking for ways to let go and relax more in my life.

One tool I love is sitting and relaxing for 30 minutes each day.  I typically do this 5 days a week. I find a place where I will not be distracted by technology, people, or anything else. I just sit (sometimes I leisurely walk) and let my mind wander where it will. I always keep something on hand to take notes so I can record any ideas that come up.

This does several things for me.

It first lets me feel that I have control over my life. It is something that I do for myself and it is not something that is driven by an outside force. Think about everything you do, it is for someone else typically, your job, your boss, your family, etc. These are not bad things, but they make you feel like you are always doing things for everyone else. This time is my time, and no one else has control over it.

I am practicing “no”. You have so many obligations in your life, and you need to keep moving forward on them. If you think about it, you will always have more to do then you have time. You are telling the whole world “no” during this time.

This helps me to set boundaries in my life. These boundaries are for  both other people and myself. For others it lets them know this is my time and they cannot control 100% of my life. Also, this puts boundaries up against my internal demons that make me feel that I always need to be  constantly productive. I restrict myself from being “productive” for this 30 minutes which helps me to realize that it is okay at other times to relax. Finally,this time takes time away from my productiveness so it forces me to work more efficiently to make up for it.

This 30 minutes helps me to focus my thoughts. I allow my mind to wander. I have realized that all problem solving is not a systematic activity. It is a creative process which you cannot force. This down time allows my mind to think about whatever is there, creatively, since it is not forced.

We have trained ourselves that our minds always need to be occupied all the time. Be it TV, a book, a class, podcasts, music, chores, Facebook, surfing the web, or producing something. This is crippling us. We are forgetting how to use our minds creatively. This time teaches me to be okay with not constantly occupying my mind.

The last point is the hardest to describe. This time helps to center me, it makes me feel like the cobwebs are cleared from my mind and I am fresh and relaxed. I cannot describe it better than that.

When are you going to start taking your 30 minutes?

4 Replies on “Growing Your Superpowers Through Intentional Inactivity

  1. I find that I need just a little bit of time after work to sit in silence and let my brain unwind.  Once that happens, I can think clearly and have the ability to be more productive because of it.

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