I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, so today, which happens to be any old day, I have made a commitment to blog regularly and to enter a 10K race (why not?).
Blog topics have been coming to me in droves since I decided to spend more time doing, wait for it…
And by nothing I mean reading for pleasure, going for walks, watching my kids play, drinking tea while staring out the window, burying my smart phone deep into my purse where I won’t see it or hear it, and you know what? I’m feeling mentally refreshed.
And you can too!
Ok, I have to admit, the Christmas holidays helped make this practice a reality. It was a big advantage that my institution essentially shut down for a week and a half so no one was doing much work (unless you are the professor like me who failed to complete all grading).
Even though both students and faculty alike are back at it, I am taking a pledge to continue to incorporate my daily practice of “nothing” I introduced over the holidays for all of the many benefits it provides.
Research by Hallnäs and Redström has suggested that introducing slow technology, which involves incorporating pause and reflection as alternatives to efficiency, rationality, and productivity, may actually help individuals restore a level of calm so many of us desire.
A more recent study out of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, by researchers Oppezzo and Schwartz found that walking boosts creativity (thanks Daphne Gray-Grant). Hey, I’m all for multitasking when it can improve my ingenuity and waistline at the same time!
The takeaway here is that we are not necessarily more productive when we are “busy”. Taking time for yourself can actually improve your efficiency, creativity and satisfaction levels so why not try it. You might really like it.
Hallnäs, L. and Redström, J. Slow technology: Designing for reflection. Personal & Ubiquitous Computing 5, 3 (2001), 201-212.
Oppezzo, Marily; Schwartz, Daniel L. Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Vol 40(4), Jul 2014, 1142-1152.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew_clarke/9011391104/”>voithite</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>