I have a nickname among team Ladyland as ‘The Gavel Basher’. Ostensibly due to my ball-busting tendencies chairing our monthly meetings and my anal respect for a deadline (that’s what 10+ years in publishing does to you). And while I’ve always prided myself on my ability to get shit done, and admittedly have trouble comprehending why others can’t do the same (I’m a dick, I know), recently I’ve started to think I might be missing a trick.
Because while I’ve been keeping myself so very busy, at times franticly occupied spinning several plates concurrently, a lot of truly brilliant opportunities and experiences have probably passed me by.
Hyper busy, it’s taken me 35 years to realise, does not necessarily equal hyper productive. And it certainly doesn’t equal hyper creative either. No, this year instead of being Mrs Busy I’ve decided to get back in touch with my inner idler and I’m encouraging you to do the same.
How many times have I sat staring at a screen willing brilliantly original ideas to spring forth onto a blank Word document only to abandon my desk and pop to the shop for an emergency bar of Green & Blacks when WHAM, a genuinely brilliant idea concept into my head? It’s not a myth. The benefits of this type of brain-resting are scientifically proven.
“When we allow our brains to take a rest from the constant information overload we expose them to every day we actually become more intelligent, more insightful and yes, even a little bit more creative.”
The DMN – Default Network Mode – is the natural state our brains revert to when we take a break from what’s called ‘conscious processing’. It’s the same brain state that generates daydreams (remember those? no, me neither) and many neuroscientists now believe that more time spent in DMN mode could actually help us to be more focused, motived and creative individuals in the long term. Yep, laziness officially makes you a better person.
“Plus we all know deep down we need to take a break, and I mean a proper break from tech, telly and the kids, more often than we do. One lazy afternoon a week, a stolen lazy hour even, could be all you need to restore your mind so that when you do inevitably go back into full-on plate spinning mode, you’ll be doing it all the more efficiently.”
As women we tend to excel at being hard on ourselves. On the whole we’re list makers, doers, copers, but when we’re giving out every last scrap of energy to keep the good ship modern life afloat, and not really nurturing ourselves in lazy-mode every once in a while, what hope do we have of being balanced, creative, content individuals?
There’s a belief in the Buddhist tradition that to take care of others we must first attend to our own needs and foster our inner resources so that when others really need our help, we can be that resilient and strong individual we all hope to be. It’s this sentiment that is going to be my lazy mantra of the year.
So, joggers on, phones on silent please. Abandon all plans of making that elaborate dinner with the courgetti and check instead that you’ve got a few tins of tomatoes in the cupboard for a game-changing one pot pasta. You are now officially entering Lazyland. Start today by taking back your lazy-time in lieu because if there’s one thing I can promise you it’s this; being hyper busy won’t ever make you hyper happy.
Photography: Elizabeth Lies via unsplash.com