“I’m too busy” is a common complaint in our high-tech, high-octane, high-stress society. Schedules are booked, days are frantic, and nights are packed. The way to manage a hyperactive, hyperproductive society is to reshuffle the deck, deal out a new plan, and play the game at a faster rate. Speed, maximized organization, and discipline are paraded as the answers to this oppressive pace.
Stopping is the first step in curing this malaise. Instead of stepping up the pace on the hamster wheel of life, the weary must stop, if only for a moment, and disconnect from the never-ending circle of priorities, commitments, and schedules. A daily break from the demands of our lives grants perspective and forces us to prioritize.
Caught up in the never-ending whirl of life, I recently found myself enslaved by to-do lists and the tyranny of the urgent. Therefore, instead of giving up candy, coffee, or meat for the season of Lent, I have made it a goal to take a walk every day.
I needed the exercise, but that wasn’t the only reason. I need to pray, but my problems extended beyond a lack of prayer. I essentially needed to NOT do something for a small part of my day. A quiet chunk of time provides time to refocus and sometimes helps me hone in on what’s most important.
Such an approach runs counter to logic. You mean more can be accomplished by taking time to do nothing? Precisely. In fact, stepping back to do absolutely nothing may be the most productive thing many people do today.