Do you make time for quiet in your life? Do you get up early to exercise, or read the Bible, or journal?
Do you take time at night to relax and unwind with a bubble bath, a good book, or your favorite television show?
Do you take the time to cook yourself a good, quality meal?
If I’m to guess, the answer for most people is probably no.
There was a time when these activities used to be cherished. They were a simple part of living.
Now, we’re too busy to take care of ourselves.
We skip going for a walk because it’s so much quicker to just drive to our destination. We don’t read the Bible because we don’t have the time to delve into the Word. We’re too used to the fast-paced speed of receiving information via the Internet; sitting down in quiet to read feels uncomfortable. . .perhaps even boring.
At night we don’t unwind and unplug like people used to. Instead, we look at friends’ posts on Facebook and browse Pinterest to pin fun activities to do at some later date, which we never do.
If so, you’re not alone. “Americans and their brains are preoccupied with work much of the time. Throughout history people have intuited that such puritanical devotion to perpetual busyness does not in fact translate to greater productivity and is not particularly healthy” (Scientific American).
How Avoiding Quiet Costs You Money
Many of us don’t take time to relax, but we compensate in other ways.
You might treat yourself to decadent food. Going on a 30 minute stroll or writing in a journal take time, which you may feel like you don’t have. However, you can eat something sweet and delicious without stopping what you’re doing. You can stay busy AND try to relax yourself with food, which can lead to obesity.
Other people unwind by shopping online. With a click of the mouse, you can purchase the new outfit you’ve been eyeing. For a little while, you get an endorphin high that makes you feel better. When that dissipates, you may go searching for the next thing to buy.
How Avoiding Quiet Prevents You From Earning More Money
I’m a freelance writer. A large part of my job is coming up with ideas to write about. I find when I’m too busy, that place in my mind that drums up ideas is absolutely silent. Trying to brainstorm ideas is like trying to pull them from a rock. I simply can’t do it.
But if I take even a day off during the month, if I let myself and my life be still for just one day a week, I suddenly have plenty of ideas.
You can probably relate to this idea. In fact, “some studies have demonstrated that the mind obliquely solves tough problems while daydreaming—an experience many people have had while taking a shower. Epiphanies may seem to come out of nowhere, but they are often the product of unconscious mental activity during downtime” (Scientific American).
When you’re busy, busy, busy and working, working, working, you think that you’re getting more done, but you may actually just be less productive. If you take a break, you may find that you need less time to get more work done. If you’re able to work better, you just may get that raise or promotion you’ve been looking for.
Our generation seems to be afraid of quiet—of white spaces around the fringes of our lives. Yet, it’s embracing the white spaces which can make us happiest, most satisfied, and more productive.
Quit fighting quiet. Your body needs it.