I’ve posted a lot of articles about the importance of taking action to achieve your goals and about how to deal with procrastination and lack of productivity. But is it ever OK to slack off? Can a lack of action ever be a good thing? The answer might surprise you. Because sometimes, the best way to deal with a creative block really is to just go with the flow, take the time to recharge your batteries, and do nothing.
Giving yourself permission to recharge your batteries
I’ve been fighting a nasty respiratory infection for over a week now. Apparently it’s a bug that’s been going around and it could last a month (thankfully, however, it’s not full-blown influenza although it sure feels like it). In any case, it’s left me drained and unable to focus. Or it could just be the cold medication that I’m taking that’s making my mind fuzzy. But whatever the reason, it’s been a struggle for me just to keep my social media feeds going, let alone trying to think coherently long enough to put a blog post together.
So I pretty much just gave up. Last week, I kept the blog going using articles I’d already written. This week, it’s a different story – no back up material left and a sadly neglected web site. But instead of fretting overly about it, I decided to just let go. I gave up and didn’t even try to come up with anything for my usual Monday post. I asked myself whether, a year from now, it would really matter if I missed posting an article or two on my blog. And I decided that, no – one week of missed content wouldn’t be the end of the world. And I gave myself permission to completely slack off, read a “just for fun” book that had nothing to do with anything I was researching and to watch a couple of movies and to just let myself rest as best I could with two preschoolers tearing around (because mothers don’t get sick days no matter how sick they happen to be).
When you don’t listen, the Universe steps in
And it was just what I needed. This morning I got up and managed to get two podcasts recorded and mixed (And thanks to the miracle of modern technology I was able to edit all the coughing fits out. You’re welcome.), and I was inspired to write this article, which, while it’s going up late is at least going to be posted today. Sometimes you just have to let yourself off the hook and give yourself that permission to do other things without the pressure to produce anything or the self-judgement of not accomplishing anything “useful”. Sometimes we all just need a break, even if it’s just for a few days. And I wonder if maybe that’s why I got sick in the first place – just so that I could learn this lesson, and remember to be more gentle and forgiving with myself, to give myself the gift of time to do the things that are enjoyable rather than chastising myself for not getting as much done as I want to. Sometimes the Universe does that; when you don’t recognize or listen to the more gentle reminders that come through, you end up getting whacked over the head with a two-by-four until you start paying attention.
There is a difference, of course, between deliberately taking the time to relax and recharge, and just defaulting to non-action mode without thought. But sometimes I forget that there is more to life than the goal that I am working towards. Sometimes I forget that it’s also important to take time out to just enjoy the present and indulge in idleness, and that being lazy isn’t always a bad thing, as long as it’s done with intent. Sometimes it’s necessary to just stop and take the time to recharge your batteries. And when you do that, the renewal in creativity and focus that occurs afterwards is amazing.
photo credit: pixabay.com cc