The Importance of Doing Nothing
Recently I’ve been going slightly stir crazy.
With the coronavirus sweeping the land, and the resulting mandatory social distancing, I’m not sure what to do with myself.
I’m used to waking up each day with goals. and a plan to achieve them. These daily action plans usually include some kind of physical contact with other people. I’m either meeting with clients, having lunch with potential clients or friends, facilitating mastermind groups, and networking everywhere.
Now my business goals seem to be stuck, because I’m stuck inside my house. I have to figure out how to restart my business, regain clients, and get finances taken care of once this is all over, and I’m definitely spending time doing this.
However, after the first few days of being locked down and going crazy, I took a deep breath and realized that maybe, just maybe, there was some good in this situation. Instead of panicking about all the awful things that might happen, I decided to find ways to move ahead. Most importantly, I decided to look around at things that were outside my fears.
Of course, this required me to get out of my routine, which was familiar and comfortable. However, once I made myself just stop and look around, I realized that there was a lot I’d been missing by being so focused on my clients and business.
It’s taken a few days, but now I’m actually enjoying not being so driven to do business all the time. I’m learning the value of stopping and doing what feels like nothing.
The interesting thing is, even when “stopped”, I’m not really doing nothing. I’m actually doing a lot, but just different things than before.
Rather than setting a goal and moving towards accomplishing it, I’m learning to be quiet, present, and focus on the moment. It’s actually quite fun and amazing to become aware of the beauty of nature, the comfort of soft sheets, the taste of food we are so fortunate to have.
Also, and most importantly, this situation has allowed me time to really connect with the people I love. To spend quality time with those I live with, and to reach out and have wonderful phone conversations with those who are far away. Since they are also “locked down”, we have time to really enjoy each other instead of having to rush off the phone to get something done.
This time also allows me to:
- Look around and really see and appreciate the world I’m surrounded by. The beauty of nature and all the amazing gifts it brings.
- Appreciate how fortunate my family and I are to be healthy, safe, and have enough to eat.
- Notice how neighbors are helping those in our community who need support in some kind of way – whether it’s food, yard work, or just a chat from the street to the neighbor sitting on the porch. It’s wonderful to see how kindness abounds.
- Enjoy the opportunity to slow down and re-evaluate what I’m doing, and decide where I want to head once it’s all over.
- Reconnect with my inner self, wisdom and inspiration.
So, if you’re having trouble staying indoors it’s important to note that even though it might feel like you are doing nothing, you are actually doing a lot. This down time is like a battery when it’s charging — it’s not powering anything, but as it rests it is gaining the strength to move ahead and do its job. The slow down allows us to rest, like a field laying fallow and regaining nutrients so it can support future plantings.
I’ve decided to use my down time to appreciate, connect with myself and others, and re-evaluate where and who I am, and where I want to go as we move ahead.
This is my take on what we’re currently going though as it impacts most of us.
I’d love to hear what you are doing with your time these days, and how this unprecedented experience is affecting you, and how you are dealing with it.
Sandy Abell is a best-selling author, life and business coach, speaker, and Licensed Counselor. She specializes in working with professionals, entrepreneurs and people dealing with life transitions, and her goal is to support and empower people as they move ahead and achieve their goals. She is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Feeling Good About You and Moving Up to Management for New Supervisors (both available on Amazon.com). Please visit Sandy on her website at www.insidejobscoach.com to check out her books and free resources, and sign up for her free newsletters.