It’s festive season! For most of you at least. I’ll only be on holiday after December 22nd… I figured talking about boredom would be quite appropriate now, especially since we don’t often know what to do when we have so much of free time.
This is probably the most difficult thing to do in your free time. I challenge you to sit down and do nothing once in a while. Just stare out of the window or sit in the yard (if you have one). You’ll be amazed at the way your mind won’t sit still.
It generally feels like a ‘waste of time’. Trust me when I tell you, there are enormous benefits to letting your mind wander. You start to conceptualize, reflect, imagine, puzzle certain problems together and just notice more than you usually would.
It’s an incredibly healthy habit, especially for your subconscious. If you have the time and capacity to do this often, try it out and notice the changes in your thought patterns. It also allows you to stay present and be more mindful of your surrounding.
White space (No technology)
This ties in hand-in-hand with the concept of doing nothing. Except in this scenario, you’re encouraged to do activities that are technology-free. This is something you need to schedule. You need to diarize it and make sure you actually allocate time to staying away from technology.
This is helpful for a plethora of reasons, but let’s dive into a few. Firstly, you’ll be able to focus more on your activity and be more present with those around you. Multi-tasking is for losers.
Secondly, you’re keeping a healthy distance from something that is trying its best to grab your attention. We’re at a war here whether you realize it or not. Your attention is the target.
“If you’re not buying the product, you are the product.”
Just think about that for a second… Whenever you find yourself spending time online or playing games for ‘free’, there’s always going to be a catch. How else are these companies making money? Through advertising.
What exactly is advertising all about? Shoving information into your subconscious. Advertisers pay large amounts of money to online companies in a bid war, to try and grab your attention. Just be aware of that fact and spend your time online more consciously.
Thirdly, you’re allowing yourself to detach. Our phones and tablets have slowly forged into our identities. We feel lost, uncomfortable and itchy without them. It’s definitely not a healthy space to be in, so learn to get comfortable being away from your devices.
My favourite part of doing nothing! You get to reflect. You get to replay scenarios in your mind and learn from them. You get to analyze your life and learn from your mistakes. You can’t do any of that when you’re hyper-busy or constantly preoccupied.
When you actually allow yourself to stare at the ceiling or out the window, things start to make a little more sense. If it’s uncomfortable, it means you’re growing in some way.
It’s strange how we always complain about not having enough time to purse our passion projects, then waste whatever free time we do end up having.
Once you’ve set time to stay away from technology, engage in activity that makes you feel alive. Something you’ve always enjoyed but never got around to mastering. Something you’re passionate about. It can be anything like painting, reading, writing, playing sports, jogging, hiking, sowing or doing yoga.
If nothing comes to mind when you hear the word ‘passion project’, then try out something new. Get a little adventurous. Leave your comfort zone and learn a new skill.
The point of this post was to help you see the importance of boredom. It’s something that ultimately helps us grow, as paradoxical as it seems.
Give yourself a break every now and then to recharge and do nothing. Schedule white space into your calendar and maintain a healthy relationship with technology. Use the time that you have to reflect and learn from your experiences. Engage in passion projects or try mastering new skills.
Before you know it, you’ll start loving the concept of being bored. You’ll realize that there’s always something that you can do to grow, even if it’s nothing.
Take a deep breath. Smile. Embrace nothingness. Think of everything you’re grateful for. Flourish.