Are You Doing too Much?

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Leisure has a value of its own. It is not a mere handmaid of labor; it is something we should know how to cultivate, to use, and to enjoy. – Agnes Repplier, Leisure

At the end of most yoga practices there’s a segment called “Savasana,” this posture involves laying on your back. Really, just laying there. These few moments of rest are meant to help all the postures that came before it be integrated into the muscles, to let the effect of the practice take hold. Recently, authors Connie May Fowler and Patrick Madden gave a lecture that suggested a similar idea, but for the brain. The lecture is titled, “The Importance of Wasting Time“, and was performed online, through Facebook, of all places. The general idea: How can we come up with new, innovative ideas, if we’re constantly focused on what’s already going on?

A lot of us pride ourselves on being workaholics, multitaskers, and do-it-ourselfers, all of which have their merits–but what ever happened to quality over quantity?

Now, this idea of doing too much doesn’t just apply to your brain or your body, but also to the health of your company, and it call comes down to budgeting. Budgeting time, money, and resources. Running a business is like running a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s key to make sure that you’re budgeting your resources to be there for you over time. Resources include employees (there’s the age-old saying that you can treat employees well and pay them badly, or you can treat them badly and pay them well, but you can’t treat them badly and pay them badly), industry contacts (don’t wear out your favors), and of course cold hard cash (don’t blow it all in one place, pace yourself and diversify).

Of course each company is different, some small businesses don’t have the funds to hire employees, others are in the hectic phase of trying to find their niche and establish their brand. There are certainly reasons to be busy and reasons why a strong work-ethic has long been admired–no one is suggesting you shirk your responsibilities, rather, I’m suggesting that you stop feeling guilty when you sneak away from your to do list to get a sandwich.

So, now that you’re ready to make the most of your wasted time, just don’t try too hard.

What do you think? When do you get your best ideas?

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