By Tracy Lyn Moland
We live in a society where we feel the need to be doing something all the time. Our children also learn this at a very young age. We take them along on our errands, we put them in classes and lessons, and we take them to the zoo or the mall. Sometimes we fill their days from early morning to bed time. It has become so excessive that there is actually a new term for it - Hyper-tasking. Hyper-tasking is when we have taken multi-tasking to a new level. It is when we appear extremely busy yet are not really accomplishing a lot. If we or our children expect to attempt to maintain this type of lifestyle, we need to slowly move back from hyper-tasking to multi-tasking and we need to include downtime in our lives.
Even when we multi-task, we need to keep our energy tanks full. To do this, we need to have downtime. Most dictionaries talk about downtime as the period in which something isn't operating - usually due to malfunction. We need to make sure our family plans our downtime before we also can't operate due to malfunction! I agree with the quote by Ann McGee Cooper, "Sometimes you must slow down to go faster."
Children generally outgrow their need for naps, but none of us outgrow our need for downtime. We need to be able to slow down, turn our minds off and refill our energy tanks. As parents, we are very aware of when our children need breaks. I can tell by my daughter's mood at the end of a school day if a bit of time alone in her room is in order. She goes in snappy, overwhelmed or irritated and comes out a new person.
I know as a writer and consultant my most creative moments are when I take the time to be still and think. I come up with great ideas in the middle of the night. We do not thrive, learn or grow until we take a bit of time to be still.
Rather than waiting until our tank runs completely empty and we or our families are forced to malfunction due to illness, let's stop filling our entire day with activities. Let's take the time to allow our energy tanks to refill so we can make the most out of the actives we do!
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