In Defense of Zoning Out
Given my proclivity for productivity, people are often surprised to learn that I am a huge proponent of zoning out. Napping, sitting and clearing my thoughts, looking through photos, not to mention a round or 4 of Candy Crush, and I’m recharged enough to get back to conquering the world. Apparently, this approach has actually been shown to increase productivity. The Wall Street Journal published an article recently that started with “One secret to achieving more: Finding time to do nothing.” No words have ever made more sense to me.
As many of us are still working from home and living at work, it continues to be difficult to find time to take a break. The WSJ provides some great examples of what to do to ease into the art of zoning out, but I’d like to offer some suggestions for how to find the time.
Commute zone: Remember our daily commutes to and from work? Once a haven of non-activity, these segments of time have dissipated into a walk from the bedroom to the home office. Start using some or all of your commute time to zoning out. Rather than jumping out of bed, grabbing your morning Earl Gray, and heading to your lair, take those minutes to meditate, walk, or enjoy a blissfully hot shower. Do the same in the afternoon to build space between your work day and leisure time.
Tech-free time: Set a daily recurring reminder on your digital to-do list to put down your devices — laptop, phone, tablet, TV, watch. All the devices. Use an egg timer or the microwave clock to count down 15 minutes when you will be tech-free. You’ll probably suffer some FOMO the first few days, but if you commit to setting aside some tech-free time, you can calm your mind and kick-up your productivity.
Errands be-gone: We no longer spend an hour or more at the grocery store, running around on the weekends to pick up dry cleaning, or other errands that have been curtailed as a result of the pandemic. Assuming you were able to forfeit certain errands, take back some of that time for zoning out. Our weekends are actually far less hectic, which has allowed me some guilt-free zoning out.
Find time to zone out and boost your productivity in the process.