The merits of being still
17 Saturday Jan 2015
I read two interesting blog posts today that both had to do with the merits of being still. They came among the plethora of posts about managing time and setting goals that have been blanketing every corner of the web landscape these past couple of weeks since New Years.
It’s crazy how can things ramp up so quickly in terms of work after a restful (for me) holiday season. I went to a networking event on Thursday evening and someone told me that he’d probably had “too” nice of a time off around the holidays and now he felt like he was sort of paying for it. That rang a little true for me too. When you work for yourself there is a certain amount of “Can I do this?” trepidation to taking time off, because you know you’re going to have a busier workload later, and that’s what my first two work weeks of January have felt like. A lot of projects, too little time.
However, I must be honest with myself because my work day projects have also included going to see a friend and her new baby, talking to my parents on the phone for my Dad’s birthday, spending several hours on volunteer board of directors work for my professional association, strategic planning with another entrepreneur friend of mine, going to the gym and doing other non-client work related tasks. (Thankfully I have somehow managed to fit that all in too!)
But back to the posts about being still. First, I read Beth Kanter’s post on What Nonprofits Need to Do More in 2015: Embrace Stillness which simply suggested taking five minutes out of your day to sit at your desk and let your mind wander. And, on the other end of the spectrum is David Cain’s How to Disappear Completely, in which he talks about the joys of sitting in a sensory deprivation tank for 90 minutes to block out the world.
Both ideas sounded good, even though the tank actually freaks me out a little since I’m not a big fan of confined spaces. (Ask me about getting trapped in a two-piece bathroom one time.) But I think the five minutes of stillness would be easier to implement on a daily basis – especially in a home office. (At a nonprofit or other work office, do you think people would “catch” you in the stillness act and comment on it?)
For myself I think instead of getting my second coffee, taking it to my desk and sipping it for 45 minutes – while it turns very cold and disgusting – that I could simply drink it sitting on my comfortable couch while resting for five minutes. Doing nothing else.
But maybe I’ll just Google the sensory deprivation tank in Victoria that I’ve heard about to see how much it is. Just sayin’. (Now I’m curious!)
Have you felt the same “ramp up” that I have had this January and do you need a solution to give you serenity now? Perhaps one of the ideas above appeals to you or you have another suggestion. Do tell!