The importance of downtime

Breakfast meetings. Eleven hour work days. An endless tirade of emails. Work trips. Exercise. Catching up with friends. Skype meetings. Long overdue doctor appointments.

Apparently we (and I include myself in this collective we) have reached a point in which being busy is something to be romanticized. And not just busy, but oh man I’m so incredibly busy. How much we have going on in our lives has become a competition. Because the busier we are, the more in demand and important we are.

The prevalence and accessibility of technology has a lot to answer for; we’re always connected, always aware of our inboxes piling up, of our to-do list doubling in size as the day progresses. Spare moments are no longer down-time; instead they are opportunist moments to catch up on the news, do some washing, or perhaps even just have breakfast.

And it’s not just CEO’s or parents of three; making plans with my friends requires a comprehensive Whatsapp chat with back and forth of possible dates, times and conflicting schedules.

So, we’re all busy. But apparently, we’re not as busy as we say we are. Obsessing about how much we have going on in our lives is more about glorifying our schedule (and our popularity) than assessing our calender at face value.

The fact of the matter is, our sanity relies on downtime. So rather than putting our schedules on a pedestal, we should stop competing for the reining title of The Busiest Of Them All, and instead focus on living in the present moment, making time for ourselves, and switching off the to-do list in our head.

Created in collaboration with Calvin Klein

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