What do you do with your idle time? Do you make space in your life to ponder? If you have children, do you allow them the time to get bored and then come up with something to do on their own?
I’m a huge advocate of giving one’s mind time to rest and become idle.
“All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.” – Napoleon Hill
Some of my best ideas were formulated when I had finished all my days’ tasks and had free time to just piddle. I’ll be searching for some little thing I can focus on. Maybe it’s something around my house that needs fixing or a small improvement I can make and BAM!
My minds off on a tangent with ideas about blog topics, ideas about travel, ideas about business solutions, ideas about how I can better support my family, ideas I can add to previous thoughts.
Sometimes ideas take time to gestate and connect to other related ideas that I might stumble across. Sometimes, I need to be doing something completely non-related to my work challenges in order for the right solution to present itself.
In 1932 Bertrand Russel wrote an essay duly named “In Praise of idleness” in which he argued that work was an overrated virtue and civilized living demanded leisure time in which personal interests could be pursued.
“I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached, namely that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work. – Bertram Russel “In Praise of Idleness”
When I look back on some of my biggest personal accomplishments I can easily attribute that my original ideas were born out of idleness. And from these ideas, I became motivated to move in the direction of my imagined future.
In writing this article I became enmeshed in Bertram’s treatise on the value of idleness and highly suggest a small detour for your “mind’s eyes only.” It’s really a conundrum why our modern society is still suffering from being overworked.
I spent the first 10 years of my business life wrongly preaching the virtues of my 80-hour work weeks even though I started to realize that I was actually getting the majority of my important tasks accomplished within about 4 hours each day. I later learned to schedule my important tasks as close together as I could each day in order to free up time to be with my young family. I needed a high-value reason to make the practical changes to my business structure in order to honor my new priorities.
I want to leave you with a small excerpt from Brand’s essay in case you’re rushed for time to read it in its entirety.
“In the past, there was a small leisure class and a larger working class. The leisure class enjoyed advantages for which there was no basis in social justice; this necessarily made it oppressive, limited its sympathies, and caused it to invent theories by which to justify its privileges. These facts greatly diminished its excellence, but in spite of this drawback, it contributed nearly the whole of what we call civilization. It cultivated the arts and discovered the sciences; it wrote the books, invented the philosophies, and refined social relations. Even the liberation of the oppressed has usually been inaugurated from above. Without the leisure class, mankind would never have emerged from barbarism.”
I’m hoping this will be the last time you don’t “have time” to ponder further…
Dominic Kotarski is the author of international best-seller “The Making”. He writes, speaks, inspires, motivates and teaches on the most important aspects of your business including Sales, Coaching, Team-Building, People Management and Business Development. Get weekly access to his blog & training videos FREE by subscribing HERE! and when you sign up you will get Instant Access to his Sales Skills Training Video.